Tips to Prevent Sickness

Getting Sick Sucks!

How do we prevent and treat the common cold and/or flu? When one person in the office has it, it is likely to spread… Here are some easy ways to protect yourself.

PREVENTION

Non-Diet Prevention Methods

  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk and in your bag at all times
  • Wash your hands frequently to prevent bacterial spread (keep hands under hot water for 15 seconds, scrub with soap)
  • Sleep (even if you aren’t getting the recommended 7 hours per night, taking naps or working on better quality sleep helps)
  • Get a flu shot before winter time (offered for free in most pharmacies or at your doctor)
  • Replace toothbrush regularly
    • Look at when bristle begin to wear out
    • Replace especially after being sick
    • When in doubt, every three months
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Cover your sneezes/coughs with your hands and then sanitize immediately
  • Stop smoking – it weakens your immune system drastically
  • Use lysol or alcohol to wipe your desk, keyboard and mouse

Diet Prevention Methods

  • Eat fruit and vegetables – lots of them. Example to get 9 servings:
    • 1 cup berries with breakfast (2 servings)
    • 1 apple mid-morning snack (1 serving)
    • 2 cups raw spinach as base of a lunch salad (2 servings)
    • To the salad, add ½ cup chopped broccoli, ½ cup chopped carrots, ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ cup chopped cucumbers (2 servings)
    • 1 cup cooked cauliflower with dinner (2 servings)
  • Drink fluids – all day
    • Keep a water bottle handy (fluids include: tea, seltzer, coffee)
    • Reduce diet sodas and diet drinks as we want to get natural products in during sick season
  • Eat yogurt (probiotics are helpful to kill some nasty bacteria)
  • Don’t drink alcohol (causes fluid loss)

Exercise Prevention Methods

  • Do regular aerobic work (20-30 minutes) to speed up heart rate.  If you are doing none now, try 2-3x per week.
    • Exercise builds up the immune system by boosting “macrophages” –  cells that kill bacteria

TREATMENT: See a doctor if you have fever and/or sore throat

Things You Can Do Without Seeing a Doc

  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Nasal symptoms: decongestants (Sudafed) and nasal sprays (Afrin)
  • Watery eyes/itching/runny nose: antihistamines (Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl)
  • Drink water
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep
  • Eat well as mentioned above AND take a multi-vitamin to cover any lost vitamins or minerals
  • Chicken soup hasn’t been proven; however there are a lot of vitamins and minerals in the broth that is immuno-protective
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