Who are we kidding, it's more like October, November, December, January, February and March showers bring May flowers-- but that doesn't sound as cute nor does it rhyme.
Protect yourself and others! I’m sure we all do our very best to fend off the flu-season, but alas a few of us do catch it.
This month we’ll be talking about sanitation habits to help you, your friends, AND your family stay cold and flu-free.
Our hands are the number one conduit of infection!
Throughout our years in school, we are constantly reminded to wash our hands.
When I was in graduate school, that point was reiterated over and over again as I learned that hand-washing was our best defense against transmitting pathogens to others and to patients.
Now you might be thinking, well, what type of soap is the best?
To your surprise, you don’t even need antibacterial soap.
Rather, focus more on washing your hands more frequently and thoroughly throughout the day.
Twenty seconds a wash making sure you are getting between your fingers and under your nail beds should suffice!
If you are not near a sink or do not have one available, hand sanitizers work well too.
Try to carry around with you that’s at least 60% alcohol.
Rub the entire surface of your hands, fingers, and wrist until the sanitizer is dry.
Use throughout the day as necessary, but make sure to do a thorough hand washing at some point to prevent build up of the sanitizer.
You probably don’t think about it a lot, but our computers, keyboards, computer mouse, and desktops are full of bacteria.
Take some time everyday to wipe down your work station. Wipes are safer for disinfecting electronics than sprays.
You can even utilize disposable paper towels or a microfiber cloth - just remember to wash your microfiber cloths daily.
While you’re at it, spread some sanitary love to other commonly used items in the office like the copy machine or the microwave handle in the break room.
You’ll thank yourself later.
I know, I know, a lot of us think this is a no-brainer, but how many of you have actually gone in to work when you were fighting even the slightest cold?
Get this, adults can become contagious one day prior to showing any symptoms!
That being said, it is ALWAYS safer to consider taking at least one day off when you are feeling under the weather, or on the verge of feeling under the weather.
Especially for our kiddos.
They can remain contagious for up to one week after showing symptoms.
To prevent the spread of germs to others, always show the common courtesy of not spreading it to others around you at work or at school.
Our bodies do all of its recovery based tasks while we are fast asleep.
Once we hit that REM cycle, our bodies work around the clock during the night to make sure that we are ready for the next day ahead.
When it comes to colds and the flu, recovery is no different.
Getting adequate sleep is extremely important if you’ve been exposed to a viral infection.
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, healthy participants who slept 8 hours per night for two weeks showed greater resistance to a virus as opposed to those who slept seven hours or less each night.
During longer periods of sleep, the body is able to produce more of a specific cytokine that helps the body to fight off infections.
So make sure to get some rest, you’ll thank yourself later!
For some of us out there, we have trouble incorporating fruits and vegetables in our everyday meals.
What I like to say is make sure that you have eaten something throughout the day that matches the spectrum of colors in a rainbow.
This will ensure that you can get adequate amounts of Vitamin C, in a way that can be more fun than just drinking it.
While Vitamin C has been proven to reduce a cold once you are sick, it has been shown to ward off colds and infections prior to its spread in the body, especially in those who are overly stressed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone over the age of six months should get a yearly flu vaccine.
And these days, it is so easy to get them!
Most drug stores like Safeway, CVS, Walgreen’s, or Rite Aid offer free walk-in flu vaccinations.
The CDC also says that it is important to get the flu vaccine once a year for two reasons:
1) the body’s immune system response to vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is warranted for optimal protection;
and 2) since flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of vaccines also change and are updated annually.
That being said, for the best protection, you and your family should get vaccinated annually!