How to stay healthy and avoid getting sick altogether.
WAYS TO HELP REDUCE RISK OF GETTING A COLD
Viruses are often the cause of a cough, cold or flu. Although there is no “cure” and no sure way to avoid falling sick, you can reduce your risk of getting the common cold by following these tips:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you work outside the home, this may be difficult to do; however, you can ask people to not visit if they have a cold or flu.
- Wash your hands often. This is the simplest and most effective way to prevent infecting yourself and others.
- Use warm water and soap.
- Briskly rub your hands together for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Wash in between your fingers, under and around your nails and the back of your hands.
- To prevent germs and viruses from spreading or entering your system (or someone else’s), wash up after you: shake hands with someone who is sick, take out the garbage, pet animals, change a diaper, or use the bathroom. Also, wash your hands after you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough into your hands. Wash your hands before you eat or prepare a meal or snack, treat a wound or put in contact lenses.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose,or mouth. This is a common way for a virus to enter your body from your hands.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. If you don’t have a tissue within reach, sneeze, or cough into your folded elbow rather than on your hands.
- When someone in your household is sick:
- Use separate towels.
- Use separate drinking cups and utensils.
- Ensure dishes are washed well with soap in hot water.
- Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for those times when a washroom is not close by.
- Manage your stress. Too much stress may reduce your body’s ability to fight infection and ward off a cough or cold. (Yet another reason to get the work/life balance you’ve been meaning to find.)
- Get active. You don’t need to train for a triathlon or marathon to prevent a cough or cold. A brisk walk or other low-impact cardio exercise can stimulate your immune system and activate your body’s infection-fighting defenses.
- Eat right. Another way to keep your immune system in high gear is to eat a balanced diet filled with low-fat, high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help your body be well-equipped to fight off a virus.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Keeping Cold, Flu and Virus Germs at Bay
Fighting back when a cold gets to you is the easy part. Avoiding germs altogether is the real challenge. But, if you keep these virus hotspots top-of-mind, you can minimize your exposure to the cold virus and reduce your risk of falling sick.
Did You Know?
- Viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. Where has your cellphone been sitting?1
- There's a 71% chance that you're picking up more than gas at the pump.2
- There are up to 185,000 bacteria per square centimeter on a surface. That means the daily not-so-special could be the germs on the menus.3
- 41% of ATMs tested Had high levels of bacteria and contamination.4
- Don't hold the elevator. We touch around 300 surfaces every 30 minutes. Another great reason for you keep taking the stairs.5
You don’t want anything slowing you down on your road to success, especially those pesky cough and cold causing germs. In the ongoing fight against germs, knowing what to look for, what to clean, and what to avoid is half the battle. Germs will attack if you give them the opportunity, which is why knowing where they congregate, how they spread, and how to eliminate them gives you the upper hand to keep you moving onwards and upwards.
Germs can survive for up to 24 hours on hard surfaces, especially those that are used by multiple people per day. Be mindful in buses and subways, public washrooms or busy doorways, where the likelihood of someone dropping off a few germs in the past 24 hours is heightened.
Germs enjoy travelling even more than we do, which is why it’s important to be mindful around those who might be sick. It is no coincidence that many of the effects of the common cold, such as sneezing and coughing, are also ways that germs spread to others. The best way to prevent the spread is to keep hands washed, sneezes contained to tissues and coughs aimed into sleeves.
Keep a clean home and a clean body to avoid exposure to germs. To stop germs before they spread, make a regular habit out of washing hands, carrying hand sanitizer into public places, and scrubbing surfaces.
Clean your cleaning products. Household cleaning products like garbage bins, sponges, and towels tend to hold onto the most germs. Keep them clean by running them through the dishwasher or laundry, and by rinsing garbage bins with bleach once per week.
When you have the upper hand on germs, you’re sure to be the in-house champ.
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