7 Healthy Habits to Help Combat Against Flu Updated (2022)

With all the attention and scrutiny on a new COVID-19 variant called omicron, it is somewhat easy to forget about the flu. After a very low flu statistic last year, experts warn that this year’s flu season might be more grave than usual. 

December is the month when the influenza virus starts soon and flares up, which typically lasts until February. Currently, the United States is seeing more flu cases than it did during the last season. Universities and college campuses are also seeing significant flu outbreaks among young adults. 

With this in mind, how can you protect yourself from the flu and its serious complications? Below are actions you can take to help stop the spread of germs in order to protect yourself and others from the flu.

Get A Flu Vaccine Every Year

Remember that flu or influenza is a potentially severe disease that can lead to admission to a hospital for treatment and even death. Flu can affect people diversely, and every flu season is different.

The best way to help combat flu is to get an annual flu vaccine. Vaccination has been shown to provide many benefits, including cutting down the risk of hospitalizations, flu illnesses, and flu-related death. 

Although some people who got vaccinated might still get the flu, the vaccination has been shown to mitigate the graveness of the illness. Flu vaccines work by introducing your body to smidgens of different viruses. Then, it sets off a reaction from your immune system, which then realizes that these tiny viruses should not be in your body and looks for a way to knock them down. 

All flu vaccines in the U.S. are quadrivalent vaccines, meaning they shield you against four flu viruses:

  • Influenza A virus subtype H1N1
  • Influenza A virus subtype H3N2
  • Two influenza B viruses

Everyone six months of age and older must get a flu vaccine every season. It is best to be vaccinated before the flu season starts spreading in your community. 

Practice Good Hygiene

The key to staying in good condition is to avoid germs and limit your exposure to illness. You can do that by practicing the following sanitary measures:

  • A daily shower may be necessary. 
  • Wash your hands for about twenty seconds, and don’t forget to scrub under your fingernails. 
  • Wash your hands before and after eating. 
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. 
  • Always bring an alcohol-based hand cleaner. 
  • Disinfect shared surfaces. 

Get Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep or rest is very important, especially if you have been exposed to an influenza virus. According to a study, healthy adult research participants who slept for at least eight hours every night showed significant resistance to the virus over two weeks.

On the other hand, those who slept less each night were 3% more likely to catch the influenza virus after exposure. The body discharges cytokines during long periods of sleep. Cytokines are a loose category of small proteins that help the body combat infection by refining the immune system. 

Eat Green Vegetables

Leafy, green vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K that help promote a healthy immune system and maintain a balanced diet. Also, these vegetables have anti-inflammatory effects and antibacterial properties, which may help the body overcome the flu. 

Examples of leafy greens include:

  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Stay Active

Following a regular workout routine does more than trimming body fats and keeping you fit. In fact, according to a study, staying active also helps your body to achieve the following:

  • increases the circulation of white blood cells, which helps fight the common cold
  • releases stress-related hormones
  • keeps chronic disease and inflammation at bay

Stay Home When You’re Sick

It would be best to stay home from errands, school, and work when you are sick. By doing so, it will help stop the spread of your illness to others. Also, avoid sharing items with family members. 

Take note that viruses can survive on surfaces for at least one day, leaving a lot of time for the germs to spread. Keep the following items separate:

  • Drinking glasses
  • Utensils
  • Towels
  • Toothbrushes
  • Mobile devices
  • Combs

Additionally, make sure to wash unsanitary items like children’s toys in soapy and hot water.

Drink Green Tea

Over the years, green tea has been linked with having good health. The health benefits of drinking green tea might be due to its high level of flavonoids, an antioxidant. Potential health benefits include reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and eased flu symptoms.

Final Words

Staying healthy involves staying hydrated all day, eating healthy foods, and regular exercise. Our body works very hard to keep us active. Hence, let’s ensure to give it the necessary food to help us remain in good condition and fight against viruses. 

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