After 700 cases of the flu and 18 deaths so far this season, the city of Boston declared a flu emergency yesterday! (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/09/boston-declares-fluemergency/1820975/) We want to give you our 5 best tips to avoid getting the sickness this flu season! 1. Wash Your Hands We know, we know, it is the mantra of every germ-freak out there, but it really helps! It is recommended that everyone wash his or her hands several times a day. Of course scrub those babies after you use the bathroom; but also after you go to the gym, use any form of public transportation, shake someone’s hand (don’t know where that’s been!), and many other scenarios—just use common sense! Also, hand sanitizer is great to keep nearby. Your hands can never be too clean during flu season! 2. Avoid Touching Your Eyes Studies have shown that a person touching something with flu carrying microbes on it and then rubbing their eyes most commonly passes diseases like the flu. So just don’t touch them! Keep your hands busy doing other things, like a crossword puzzle or playing Sudoku. If you must rub your eyes, cover your fingers with a washcloth or tissue to prevent the germs from coming in contact with them.
3. Stay Hydrated It has always been recommended to drink six to eight glasses of water a day, but it is incredibly important during the winter. It’s sometimes hard to remember to drink enough water in the cold weather, since it’s not as hot and we don’t sweat as much; but being hydrated can actually boost your immune system! The more hydrated you are, the stronger your body is to fight off illnesses! Just don’t forget to wash your hands after all those trips to the bathroom you will most likely make! 4. Probiotics Probiotics are the “good bacteria” in your intestines that have been proven to help fend off colds and the flu. You can add probiotics to your diet with yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi—but they also come in a pill form. Sometimes antibiotics destroy some of the good bacteria that we need in our bodies to fight off illnesses, so it is important to replenish it. 5. Exercise Exercise has many immune-boosting effects including: reducing stress, improving circulation, and excreting toxins through perspiration. If you’re really sick it is probably not the best idea to go hit the gym. Instead, get plenty of rest and talk to your doctor or another medical professional before engaging in any physical activities.