How to avoid getting the flu: 12 tips that really work
If you want to avoid getting the flu this winter, follow these proven techniques for boosting your immune system, fighting off germs, and keeping your body healthy…
- Get enough sleep. Your immune system functions much better when you get enough sleep. Most people really need about 8 hours per night for optimal health. If you’re body is fatigued, it simply won’t be able to fight off the flu virus (or any other infection) very well.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps keep your immune system strong. In fact, a recent study showed that mice who performed mild exercise as soon as they were exposed to the flu virus had much lower death rates.
- Avoid sugar. Even small amounts of sugar can significantly impair your immune function, making you more susceptible to a flu infection. A large amount of sugar, such as the amount found in a normal can of soda, hurts your immune function for hours.
- Drink lots of pure water. Keeping your mucous membranes well-hydrated is a key to helping them fight off viruses. Shoot for about eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- Reduce stress. Too much stress has a highly negative impact on your overall health and, over time, it will make you much more susceptible to a flu infection. Studies show that prolonged stress is at least partially responsible for 90% of all illness and disease. Regular exercise and sufficient sleep both help reduce stress levels. Also, meditation is a proven stress-buster that is easy, enjoyable and can be used on a daily basis.
- Wash your hands often. Also, carry a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently, especially after you touch anything that others have touched recently (like doorknobs).
- Eat immune-boosting foods on a daily basis. A healthy diet, including a few proven immune-boosting foods, is one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu. The best flu-fighting foods are:
- Fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables – Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy phytonutrients that can strengthen your immune system, lowering your susceptibility to the flu virus.
- Fresh raw or lightly-cooked garlic – Garlic has strong natural antiviral properties that can help to fight off a flu virus. Also, garlic provides a strong boost to your immune system, especially when eaten on a regular basis.
- Green Tea – Like garlic, green tea has shown the ability to both kill viruses and to stimulate the immune system to fight off flu infections, especially when used daily. Try to drink 3-6 cups of strong green tea per day during the flu season.
- Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne has a long list of health benefits and is believed to be a mild immune-booster. Also, cayenne contains large amounts of natural vitamin A, considered to be an important “anti-infection” nutrient.
- Keep your hands away from your face and head. The flu virus enters your body through the eyes, nose, mouth, and possibly even the ears.
- Get fresh air every day. During the winter the dry heat from indoor heating systems dries out your mucous membranes and makes you more susceptible to viruses. If you can, during the day, crack open a window or two to give your body some relief.
- Drink little or no alcohol during flu season. Too much alcohol impairs liver and immune function, which leaves you open to all kinds of infections. Heavy drinkers are especially susceptible to flu infections. Also, alcohol dehydrates your body which is always bad during flu season.
- Don’t smoke… and avoid smoke-filled places. First and second-hand smoke significantly impairs your immune system. It also dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia, the small hairs in your nose and lungs that help keep out viruses.
- Take regular saunas. Many experts believe that taking a sauna several times a week can help to keep you from getting the flu. Many people, especially in Europe, takes saunas just for this reason. The air you breath in a sauna is too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.