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7 Preemptive Strikes Against The Flu

Jan. 17, 2018 at midnight

Influenza is like a movie villain who manages to evolve into something even more dangerous for the sequel. Unlike the common cold, flu can lead to serious complications and also be deadly for those already suffering from conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma. When it comes to the flu, prevention is far better than cure. Here are seven ways to keep the villain at bay.

1. Get Vaccinated

Unlike other vaccines, you need to get a flu shot at the beginning of each flu season. The vaccine will protect you from the latest and most common strains of the virus. There's a large variety of flu shots. Some are trivalent, targeting three strains of the virus, while others work against four. Some are administered into the muscle tissue while others go beneath the skin layers. To find out which vaccine is best for you, make an appointment with your general practitioner and dial 2-1-1 to check its availability.

2. Give Sugar a Wide Berth

Studies have shown that sugar works against your immune system for up to a few hours after being ingested. Having a few too many sugary drinks (or any other kind of sweets) can leave you vulnerable to the flu. Don't make yourself a target and try to cut back on sugary products. Defend the fort. Your sweet tooth will learn to live with it. Eventually.

3. Always Breathe In Through Your Nose

After quickly climbing a few flights of stairs or after a run, it's normal to want to suck in as much oxygen as possible. But breathing in through the mouth is like issuing an open invitation for the flu and other viruses. Unlike our oral cavity, the nose is much better equipped to handle contaminated air. Those tiny hairs in your nostrils act as a filter, blocking particles from entering your lungs while mucus provides much-needed moisture and heat.

4. Clean Your Phone Often

According to a study, we Americans check our mobile phones 47 times a day on average. That same phone is an absolute dirt magnet, gathering germs from all the surfaces it touches, including your hands. Cleaning it often reduces the chances of catching something. Try to keep it in your pocket or purse more often too.

5. Exercise

An active body is a healthy body—at least that's what research proves. By exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes every day, you boost your body's immune system over time, allowing it to beat that flu virus into submission should the need arise. Anything that gets the heart rate up will do: walking fast, running, cycling, or swimming.

6. Stay Indoors

If all else fails and you have now contracted the dreaded flu, it's best to take a vacation from the rest of society. Sure, you've got the flu, but you can still prevent others from getting it. Don't try to be a hero and go to work, coughing and sneezing while going about your business. You'll be just another flu henchman passing on the virus.

7. Avoid Close Contact

While you're under the weather, remember not to cough and sneeze too close to your friends and loved ones. If those loved ones include kids, keep an even greater distance because their immune systems are still developing. Wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces you've come into contact with.

The flu really has been running rampant in south Texas, leaving no workplace or family untouched. Let's all do our best to get rid of it!



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