Cold and Flu season is not just coming fast-- it's already (a-chew!) here... and it's a bummer. While it's true that some of these habits are rather ingrained in many of us, it's important to start changing your ways now, before the sneezy season is really in full swing. In a nutshell, focus on changing these 5 habits-- asap:
1. You're Not Washing Your Hands Enough
It's hard to wash your hands too much during this season. Wash your hands well- for 20 seconds at least- and often, especially after touching shared objects such as pens in the office or faucets in the bathroom, petting animals, spending time with or caring for someone who is sick, changing diapers... you get the idea.
2. You have a Habit of Touching Your Face
According to the Mayo clinic, the average American touches his/her face every 20 seconds. This is too much, friends. This is too much. Want to know why? Because your hand served as a shuttle, passing whatever germs you happened to pick up on a door handle, faucet, pen, or whatever inanimate object you just happened to touch to your mouth, eyes, and nose. So please, please, try to stop touching your face.
3. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
Studies have shown that not getting quite enough sleep actually supresses the immune system. So while staying up late to work might feel productive, it might work against you in the long run. How much is enough? Adults need 7 hours of sleep per night.
4. You Are Not Drinking Enough Water
Once again, it's an issue of strengthening you immune system here-- being dehydrated weakens your immune system, and we just don't need that right now. Women? 11.5 cups of water per day. Men? 15.5 cups. Yes, that's a lot! Start sipping.
5. You Don't Get Enough Exercise
Exercise is basically a natural way to boost your immunity. And while we know it's not really as nice out, the pool is probably out of the picture by now-- or soon enough-- you still need to get out there and move your body. Go for a jog, hop on a bike, or head to the gym.
6. You have an Underlying Immune Issue
Of course there are folks who have health issues that compromise their immunity. These people are especially vulnerable to cold and flu-- and that's all the more reason for the rest of us to wash up, stay fit, and keep your hands away from your face!