Dodging Disease: 10 Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter


With the onset of cold and flu season, staying healthy is far from easy. While there is no foolproof way to avoid getting sick, the following 10 tips will keep the risk of disease to a minimum.

  1. Vaccinate Vigilantly

Barring certain rare health conditions, make sure to stay up to date on all vaccines. Vaccination provides iron-clad protection against infection and cuts down the potential vectors for disease. The benefits of vaccines are more than worth the cost and pain of getting them.

  1. Wash Your Hands

It’s not a coincidence that this is the oldest trick in the book. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to cut a large portion of germs off from your system. Wash them thoroughly whenever you eat, prepare food, go to the restroom, tend to a wound, or touch animals or garbage.

  1. Clean Your Counters

It’s important to regularly wipe down kitchen counters, dining room tables, and any other surfaces where people regularly prepare or consume food and drinks. Clean them with soap and water at least twice a week, even if they don’t appear to be dirty. This cuts germs off from a valuable breeding ground.

  1. Be A Miser

Sharing isn’t caring when diseases abound. Resist the urge to let friends borrow your things, especially cutlery, dishes, food, and anything else that makes contact with your mouth. Even if you don’t think your friend is sick, he or she may be carrying something and just not be showing symptoms yet.

  1. Sneeze Responsibly

Sneezing spreads germs around the room at lighting speed, so always direct your nose into a tissue. If a tissue isn’t available, sneeze into the corner of your sleeve so that the germs don’t get on your skin. Instruct your children to do the same, and wash anything that has been sneezed on as soon as possible.

  1. Clean Comprehensively

Winter is the time to regularly wash all clothes, sheets, children’s toys, and other items that can carry disease. Designate at least one day a week to do each of these chores so that none of them goes undone for too long. The cost and effort it takes to wash all these items is nothing compared to the inconvenience of being sick.

  1. Engage in Exercise

Although doctors do not yet know why, there is evidence that regular exercise helps you avoid disease and bounce back quickly when you do get sick. Mild exercises, such as half-hour long daily walks, are easy to maintain and provide a range of health benefits.

  1. Sleep Soundly

Sleep deprivation undermines your immune system, so do everything in your power to get a good night’s sleep. Try cutting down on coffee in the afternoons, setting a regular bedtime, and buying a sleep mask. Also consider reducing your alcohol consumption, as alcohol prevents REM sleep.

  1. Pen Prudence

Public pens may have touched hundreds of hands, and are a commonly overlooked source of disease. Keep a clean pen on your person at all times, and use it whenever you have to write something in public.

  1. Culinary Choices

Consider incorporating more garlic into your meal. Not only does fresh garlic have anti-bacterial properties, but research suggests that it may also boost your immune system. Onions, shallots, kale, cabbage, and leeks provide similar benefits. The fresher these veggies, the better they are for your health.

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