Banish the Flu Fairy – Tips to Help You Avoid the Flu

flu-fairy

Ugh! I dislike the flu fairy immensely! It seems when she visits our house she can’t help herself but to ensure that at least three of five kids get sick, sick, sick. Having to watch your kids come down with, and recover from, the flu is never fun but it is especially icky at Christmas time. You can’t help but feel bad for them as they lay there, wishing you could take it from them and deal with it yourself, just to spare them from having to. So, rather than aiming for preparation on this issue, I always shoot for prevention first and foremost. How? By following these 10 simple health tips to avoid the flu:

1. Drink water. I’ve said it before, I’ll likely say it again: drink a gallon a day people! Every dingle metabolic process that occurs in our body, including warding off germs that turn into the flu, takes water. Drink up!

2. Eat a healthy diet. This should not be a shocker to any of you. You’ve all heard the expression that you are what you eat…so why not eat healthy? Eating junk food not only makes you feel like garbage, it also ensures that you won’t have all the proper vitamins and nutrients your body needs to fight off the famed flu bug.

3. Take a good, high quality, vitamin supplement. None of us can get every single vitamin, mineral and nutrient we need simply from the food we eat. However, making sure our bodies stay balanced in this area is critical to your overall health. Every missing vitamin or mineral causes a chain reaction wreaking havoc, even though you may “feel fine”. To determine whether or not your vitamin is doing you any good, fill up a glass with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Place one of your vitamins in the glass and time it to see how long it takes to break down. If it takes longer than 10 minutes, odds are you’re not getting nay benefit from it at all. Switch brands.

4. Exercise regularly. This is another one that shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you. Studies show that regular exercise (meaning 4-6 times/week for at least 30 minutes) has a cumulative immune-enhancing effect, which leads to a sustained response by the immune system to illness . Couple that with the fact that when you exercise your white blood cells (the ones that fight illness) circulate throughout your body faster, therefore fighting infection off more efficiently and you’ve got an all natural way to boost endorphins and bypass the flu, making you happy AND healthy! Can you say, “Bonus!”

5. Get enough sleep. This is the one I struggle most with personally. It seems there is always so much more that needs to be done that I have a hard time shutting my day off and just getting to bed. However, sleep is critical to our health. Not getting enough shut eye leads to a weak immune system and leaves you an unguarded target for germs, infection and disease. No bueno.

6. Keep stress to a minimum. Easier said than done, I know. On the bright side, getting enough sleep as well as regular exercise are great ways to combat stress. Some find that relaxation CD’s can help them sleep even when they struggle to turn their brain off at the end of a long day. Try it and see if it helps you!

7. Okay, time for the no brainer stuff. Wash your hands, frequently (and make sure to use warm enough water as well as scrub them long enough -sing your ABC’s while you wash them, you’re not done scrubbing until you’re done singing- oh, and no singing it as fast as if you were trying to break the Guinness book of world records, lol).

8. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze (and remind others around you to do the same). Optimally, everyone would use a tissue and discard it when they were done…but life is not always optimal. I have taught my kids to sneeze into their elbow…at least it comes in contact with less things.

9. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is one of the most common ways to spread germs. Choose not to follow this little tip and sooner rather than later you’ll hear yourself saying, “I think I’m coming down with something”. 🙁

10. Avoid large crowds. I know, this one is laughable at best, especially at Christmas time. Kids school programs and choir concerts, Christmas shopping, Christmas parties and get together’s, Church, even going to the gym…the list goes on and on, and all of it includes large groups of people. In this day and age, avoiding large groups of people is almost impossible. What is more reasonable, is limiting exposure to large groups and making sure to practice these other tips without fail.

Obviously, there is no way to entirely ensure you will never get a visit from the flu fairy, but these tips are like a top dollar security system designed to keep her from getting to you in the first place. Hope you and yours find them as helpful as my family does and that you have as few instances of breached security as possible. 🙂

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