Stay Well During the Flu Season

People with healthy immune systems may recover from colds and viruses more quickly.  Children and the elderly are more susceptible to these viruses, because their immune systems may not be as strong as the immune systems of younger adults.

Bad ColdThere are things everyone can do, however, to strengthen their immune systems and avoid getting sick in the first place.  Flu vaccines protect us from the most dangerous flu strains each year.  Daily exercise and a healthy diet are important ways to strengthen the immune system.  Avoid sugar-laden foods if you think you are getting sick, since some studies show that sugar may weaken the immune system.  Getting seven or eight hours of sleep each night, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day (check with your doctor first), and managing your stress levels are also important.  Art Linkletter was right, laughter is the best medicine.  Studies show that laughter strengthens the immune system, so laugh it up!

Hand washing with soap and water is probably the most effective way to prevent the spread of colds and flu.  We pick up viruses in the air we breathe and on surfaces we touch.  Viruses enter the body through our noses, mouths, and breaks in the skin, such as a small cut on the hand.  Therefore, it is very important to wash our hands often, especially when we are among other people.  We must be very careful not to touch our faces unless we have first washed our hands.  It is also important to avoid people who are coughing and sneezing, since viruses can hang in the air for short periods, and are easily inhaled.

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