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5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick (When Everybody Else Is)

Written by S.O.

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 12:50 pm

We all want to avoid coming down with an illness, but sometimes we don’t have a choice about spending time around sick people. It might be your kids, your spouse, your coworkers, or even just being out in public when there’s a nasty bug going around – whatever the circumstances, we just can’t completely avoid being exposed to potential sickness.

You can, however, take some steps to protect ourselves and bolster our immune systems so that when we’re inevitably around a contagious sick person, you have a better shot at avoiding the illness yourself.

One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to maintain a healthy body! This means eating fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, staying away from cigarettes and alcohol, and engaging in regular physical activity.

Moving beyond that kind of broad recommendation, there are some specific measures you can take too, such as:

• Get your shots – Flu shots, standard vaccinations, and the like help protect you against common strains of particular illnesses. It’s a good idea to get a flu shot each year, since the most common types of flu can vary each season.

• Get plenty of sleep – According to a Carnegie Mellon study, people who got fewer than 7 hours of sleep a night were almost three times more likely to come down with a common cold.

• Wash your hands – The CDC says that hand washing is “one of the most important steps we can to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.” Keeping hands clean helps prevent spreading germs to the objects you touch, and similarly, helps prevent germs from making their way into your eyes, nose, and mouth as you unknowingly touch your face throughout the day.

• Keep things clean – WebMD recommends cleaning with bleach to take on the noroviruses that can lead to what’s widely referred to as “stomach flu”. These particular viruses are robust, and can survive many common household cleaners. Focus your cleaning efforts on areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and places people touch often, like door handles, remote controls, keyboards, etc.

• Minimize contact – Even if you have to spend time sharing a space with sick people, you can still make an effort to reduce the amount of physical contact. Don’t shake hands or hug, don’t share straws or forks, and try not to sit too close! If you do have to share items, see the above points on cleaning and hand washing.

Taking steps to protect yourself from common illnesses isn’t just for you – not only will you stay feeling healthy, you’re also doing your part to prevent the spread of disease in a general way. You’re protecting the health of your children, your coworkers, and everyone else around you. By taking these precautions, you are providing a public service!

If you can avoid getting sick, you’re also avoiding making others sick, breaking the cycles that germs and viruses depend on for survival. Doing your part to stay healthy helps everyone else stay healthy too!


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