- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Preventing the Swine Flu
With flu season on its way and the added concerns of the Swine flu(H1N1) possibly spreading this flu season; there are a few things you need to know about protecting yourself and preventing the swine flu. Most of them are common sense and just involve us being a little more mindful.
Wash Your Hands
Common sense, right? Well yeah, but just washing them isn’t enough. It’s important to use hot soapy water and wash them for at least 15-20 seconds. A good way to help determine that you are washing your hands long enough is to sing Happy Birthday to yourself or the ABC’s.This is a good way to make sure you are washing your hands long enough to kill germs and bacteria and to help prevent the spread of the flu. It is also a fun and easy way to teach young children the alphabet.
It’s imperative that you wash your hands often. You should wash your hands after touching public surfaces; such as door knobs, pens, shared desk or work space, etc. and after being in contact with sick people or those exhibiting some cold or flu symptoms. Try to avoid touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes; but if you do make sure to wash your hands afterward.
This sounds really good in theory, but for many of us with busy jobs and schedules we’re not always able to wash our hands as much as we would like. So it is suggested that you carry antibacterial hand sanitizer to use for those times that hot soap and water is not available. Antibacterial hand sanitizer is not a complete substitute for washing your hands. So you want to soap up as often as possible.
Get Enough Sleep
This can be challenging for many of us and the amount of sleep needed can vary. For most adults it is recommended that they get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Sleep is important for several reasons. During sleep the body renews and repairs itself. More protein is produced to repair your body at the cellular level from stress, infections and pollutants it may have come in contact with during the day.
If you’re like me and can’t think of the last time you got seven hours of sleep let alone nine. Try to turn off the TV and computer about an hour before you’d like to go to bed. Grab a mug of chamomile tea, a good book, and turn on soothing music without words. Chamomile tea helps to calm the nerves and promotes rest, music with words causes direct thoughts, music without words helps to soothe and relax. All of this lends itself to restful sleep, and the more of it you get you are helping your body prepare to better defend itself against flu germs.
Make Smart Food Decisions
It’s important to keep your body hydrated and to make sure to get enough vitamins. Keep hydrated by drinking 8-10 8oz. glasses of water daily. Get plenty of vitamins by eating whole grains, colorful veggies, and plenty of fruit.
Keep Physically Active and Reduce Stress
Getting 30 -40 minutes of mild to moderate exercise three to four times a week can be a great stress reliever and can give your immune system a boost. Regular physical activity helps to increase circulation, purge your body of toxins through sweat, and relieve stress.
Studies have shown that stress can suppress the immune system. So the more you can do to cut stress the better chance you’re giving your immune system.
No one likes being sick, especially with the flu. With the addition concerns about the Swine flu (H1N1) this season taking every precaution to avoid the flu is important. To sum things up just use common sense; make sure to was your hands properly, get enough rest and physical activity, eat right and stay hydrated. Also whenever possible avoid sick people or those who are exhibiting some of the signs of a cold or flu.