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Avoid Celebrating the Holidays with a Cold or the Flu

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fluIt is hard to believe Thanksgiving is next week!  Where has this year gone?!  Why we are all taking the extra time to sit down and think about what we are all thankful for, don’t forget to think about your health.  Your body should receive love and nurture just like that great meal you are getting ready to prepare for family and friends. 

With the holiday season quickly approaching it is important to take the proper precautions to keep your body healthy this holiday season.  We want all of you to be able to create lasting memories with family and friends.  No one wants to spend their holiday season wrapped up in bed with chicken noodle soup as their main entrée.

You’re in luck because Family Medical Walk-In Clinic has compiled a top 10 list of cold and flu prevention tips! 

Our Top 10 Prevention Tips:

Content provided by Health.com and CDC.gov

1. When appropriate, get a flu shot to prevent influenza.

2. Whenever possible, avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu…and follow the Golden Rule.  When you have a cold or flu like symptoms, avoid infecting others, particularly those who have a chronic respiratory condition.

  • When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth
  • Promptly throw away used tissues
  • Use separate towels
  • If your dishwasher has a “sanitize” cycle, use it

3. Wash your hands!

  • When you can’t avoid contact with a contagious person, washing your hands frequently with soap and water or cleaning them with a waterless antibacterial hand sanitizer, like Purell ®, can lessen your odds of catching that cold or flu virus. You should also wash after blowing your own nose.
  • Try to keep your fingers away from your face, because cold and flu viruses often enter the body via the nose and eyes.

4. Give your immune system a boost.

  • By strengthening your immune system, you are mobilizing the body’s first line of defense may prevent bacteria, germs, and viruses from causing the symptoms of the flu, colds, and other respiratory infections.
  • Give your immune system a helping hand by eating foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene and zinc. These include:
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Watermelon
    • Cantaloupe
    • Citrus fruits
    • Whole grains
    • Wheat bran
    • Dairy products
    • Poultry
    • Fish
    • Lean red meat

5. Worrying too much- The added stress of worrying about getting sick may lower your immune system and actually make you sick.

6. Kissing, Hugging, and Shaking Hands- Direct physical contact is one of the easiest ways to pick up a virus. It is best to stay 6 feet away from someone with the virus (CDC.gov).

7. Smoking- Weakens the little disease fighting hairs in your nasal passage that are used to trap and dispose of germs.

  • Smokers are more at risk of developing a respiratory illness due to their lungs previously being damaged; it is not unusual for a smoker to fight pneumonia following their illness.

8. Working out at the gym- Moderate exercise has been known to keep your immune system up and healthy but over exercising without the proper hydration and eating habits can actually increase your risk of getting sick.

  • Spray all gym equipment down before using it, can you imagine how many germs are on those handles??
  • Take a shower immediately after being at the gym to kill any germs you may have been exposed to.

9. Alcohol consumption- Consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time can not only give you a hangover but it also weakens your immune system and you might have a harder time fighting off germs for at least 24 hours.

10. Taking Anti-Viral Medications- Taking anti-viral medications before you are even sick can increase your risk of the virus becoming resistant to the medicine resulting in you getting sick anyways.

We hope you find these tips useful this holiday season, be aware of your surroundings and take proper precautions!  Keep in mind, Family Medical Walk-In Clinics are open seven days a week and we see those who have non-emergent medical needs.  No appointment is ever needed.  Be well my friends.

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About the Author:

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer and I am the face behind all of fmwicblog.com articles. I have an undergraduate degree in Broadcast/Journalism with a minor in Marketing. I completed my Master's in Health Communication in 2014. I work for a company called Family Medical Walk-In Clinic that is based out of Southwest Missouri. They are an Urgent Care facility based out of Springfield, MO. We decided to start this blog page to give our community a little something extra. I have found a passion for writing health related articles; I write articles based on what I think my readers want to know and learn more about. I don't want to overwhelm anyone with a bunch of medical terms, so I keep most of my articles simple and to the point. I want to thank those of you who are loyal to reading my weekly articles and also to my new readers. I hope you find this website informative but at the same time enjoyable!

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