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How to protect yourself against the Flu!

5 tips to protect you this season!

It is important for all of us to do our best to stay healthy during the flu season. People 65 and older who pick up the flu virus run a greater risk of developing more serious complications than younger adults; so it is especially important to take precautionary measures to avoid the bug!

You don’t necessarily need a flu shot to protect yourself this winter. There are quick and easy steps you can take to make yourself less susceptible to illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your body could be harbouring viruses before symptoms start to appear. You could, therefore, be contagious before you even know that you are sick.

1. Sanitise your office space

Cold and flu viruses easily spread from person to person, as well as making their way onto surfaces we regularly touch. These surfaces include doorknobs, kitchen appliances and office equipment like telephones, mice, computer keyboards and desks.

Research has shown that the average computer keyboard is five times dirtier than a toilet seat. To ensure than your office equipment and surfaces remain clean and germ-free, we suggest keeping an alcohol-based sanitiser at hand to sterilise surfaces that may harbour germs and viruses that can make you sick.

2. Wash your hands

Research has shown that good hand hygiene and regular hand-washing may help protect you against colds and flu. Hand-washing is the simplest way to prevent infection or illness as your hands constantly come into contact with other people and unhygienic surfaces. Those germs are quickly transferred to your mouth, eyes, and nose.

CDC advises when you should be washing your hands:

Before, during, and after preparing a meal

Before eating

Before and after taking care of a sick person

Before and after treating a cut or a wound

After using the toilet

After changing diapers

After coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose

After touching pets or other animals

After touching any form of garbage

3. Clean your cellphone

You hold your cellphone against your face every day, and according to research the average cellphone has 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Germs and viruses can spread from cellphones to people's hands and faces and make them sick.

Using an antiseptic wipe to clean your phone can go a long way towards preventing you from getting ill. Just remember to throw away the wipe once you are done.

4. Make time to de-stress

Stress can increase your chances of getting sick. If you are stressed all the time, your nervous system stays aroused and keeps on releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can affect your immunity.

According to CDC, in stressful situations they body is in a constant state of alertness, increasing the rate of “wear and tear” to the biological systems. As a result, your body becomes drained and more susceptible to infectious illnesses.

5. Exercise

Research has shown that people who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to catch a cold. Exercise strengthens the immune system and cuts your risk of catching a cold by nearly 50%. You don’t need to belong to a gym to exercise. Walking is often underrated, and this easy form of exercise can go a long way toward keeping you healthy and able to fight off the common cold.

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