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7 Ways to Combat Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us. What can you do to stay healthy?

Woman with a cold, ways to combat cold and flu season

No one wants to catch a cold, sniffles, chills, fever, or sore throat—especially during the holiday season. Here are seven ways you can defend yourself from flu viruses that could ruin all the holiday fun.

1. Get a flu shot

This seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised how many people skip getting their annual flu shot. Making the time for a flu shot is worth it. It may prevent you from getting sick, as well as protect the people around you, including those more vulnerable to illness like babies, children, and older adults.

Related: Do Flu Shots Really Work and Should I Get One?

2. Use hand sanitizer

Always wash your hands: before and after you eat, before and after you remove your contact lenses, after you sneeze, and after you touch a public doorknob. Simply practicing good hygiene can make all the difference between you and a wicked virus.

3. Eat your veggies

Fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals that can give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off the germs of flu season. Specifically, leafy, green vegetables are great for immunity. So, bring on the broccoli arugula salad!

4. Get some sun

Unfortunately, more and more Americans are suffering from vitamin D deficiency (the sunshine vitamin). When you lack this important vitamin, it can lead to a weakened immune system and put you at risk for even more diseases.

5. Keep moving

Exercising is essential to keeping your immune system ready to fight. Even going on a walk three times a week can keep you from making a trip to the doctor’s office.

Related: How to Stay Fit and Motivated through Winter

6. Chill out

Unfortunately, uncontrolled stress and infectious diseases practically go hand-in-hand. Stress can increase inflammation in your body and increase your risk for many diseases. So, indulge in some self-care when you’re feeling overwhelmed. And more importantly, make sure you’re getting enough sleep—your immune system will thank you later.

7. Sharing is bad (just this once)

During flu season, forget everything your mom taught you about sharing. To avoid sharing germs, don’t share drinks, lip balm, food, towels, or any other personal items. And make sure to regularly wash the toys your children share. This might be a bit of a hassle, but if it saves you and your family from the crippling effects of the flu, then it’s worth it.

Be sure to arm your immune system with the right defenders needed to kick these viruses to the curb for another year.

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.

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Post Author

Chakell Wardleigh
Chakell has a B.A. in English and is a magazine editor. She enjoys exercising, laughing with family and friends, and online shopping. She strives to be as versatile as cauliflower, which she often turns into pizza.