5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Fall
Daily habits that can help you avoid sickness and prevent the spread of viruses to others too!
It seems as though it was just yesterday when summer was in the air and temperatures averaged at about 85 degrees. Fall has definitely arrived, and with the weather transitioning into cooler climates, winter isn’t too far behind. Along with the cool weather comes, you guessed it, cold and flu season. Before you know it, you feel scratchiness at the back of your throat and the sniffles that are all too familiar. Almost everyone experiences colds and flus from time to time, and with more people spending time together indoors again, the likelihood of getting sick is pretty high but not inevitable. There are ways to prevent yourself from getting sick and reduce the chances of spreading the cold or flu.
Here are 5 daily activities to keep yourself healthy during the transition into fall weather:
- Get Enough Sleep
Yes, this does mean getting a consistent 8 hours every night. Sleep habits have a direct influence on both mental and physical health. Studies show that those who lack quality and duration of sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses such as the flu or common cold. Sleep also influences how quickly you recover when you do get sick, so your body needs quality sleep in order to fight infectious illnesses.
- Wash Your Hands
Maintaining good hygiene is crucial during cold and flu season. Your hands are capable of carrying around a plethora of germs that can easily get you sick. If you put your hands in your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, it is easy for germs to transfer from your hands and cause you to get sick. This is why it is important to regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water. Try to be more cautious of your hand washing, especially before meals, and if you’re not near a sink, hand sanitizer is always a good substitute!
- Disinfect Surfaces
Germs can survive on many different surfaces, including:
How long a virus can survive on these surfaces depends on a variety of factors; However, flu viruses can survive outside of the body for extended periods, even months. You can lower your risk of infection by disinfecting surfaces with products that contain alcohol or bleach. Some surfaces you should wipe down frequently include door knobs, countertops, desks, keyboards, and your cell phone.
- Get Active
Exercise is not only a great way to stay in shape but can actually help prevent you from getting sick. Physical activity can actually help prevent, or help your body recover, from upper respiratory illnesses. Mild exercise (45 minutes, 3-5 days a week) can improve your immune system while also working to prevent other illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Anxiety and stress
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Check out the Physical Activity page on the Healthy UNH blog for more exercise tips!
- Eat Well
Fueling your body with all of the proper vitamins and nutrients can do wonders! Keeping a well and balanced diet and incorporating vitamin-rich foods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, can help build a stronger immune system. One of the biggest aides in preventing the cold or flu are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. Citrus fruits are extremely beneficial in preventing a cold due to its high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells in our bodies, which plays a critical role in preventing and fighting off viruses, so when in doubt drink some OJ!
No one likes getting sick, so take care of yourself and get into the habit of making these tips a part of your daily routine. Happy Fall!