Catching a bug that’s going around can slow you down for a few days, with the sniffles, aches and pains, fever, headaches, sneezing and coughing. The flu is every employer’s worst nightmare, as it puts pressure on them and other employees with increasing workload and smaller team numbers. Large companies lose lots of money due to sick leave and by not having enough staff producing products. It is also every Mother’s worst nightmare. Who wants their kids sick at home, miserable and sniffily after catching the virus? There is no absolute way that you can avoid the flu, but there are things that are affordable and simple that you can do to increase your odds of staying flu free.
1. Firstly, don’t bother with anti-bacterial soap. It has no particular benefit over normal soap and the major threat during flu season is viruses, not bacteria. Also, anti-bacterial substances are being added to most household cleaners, such as cleaning wipes, laundry detergent, toilet cleaners, hand lotions etc. This increases the different bacteria’s immunity and therefore poses a great threat to our health. These kinds of products and substances should only be used in clinical conditions.
2. If you can’t wash your hands, then use hand sanitizer. Unlike anti-bacterial soap, it uses alcohol, rather than specialised agents. It’s great for when you cannot visibly see the dirt on your hands and it should be used before cooking or after using public transport.
3. If you want to go a step further, then try and new hand-washing method. A good hand washing process is better, no matter what kind of soaps you use. Most people don’t wash their hands for long enough, and that is the major problem. You should wash your hands for about 20 seconds. And if you can, make sure your hands are completely dry. Germ causing viruses need three things. Warmth, light and moisture. If you don’t dry your hands properly, then you are giving these germs a chance to grow.
4. According to scientists in the UK,adding crushed garlic to your food will decrease your chance of catching a cold by 50%. It is rich in the amino acid Allicin and gives your immune system a boost by stimulating the white blood cells.
5. Scientists at Harvard believe that drinking tea causes the white blood cells in your immune system to react five times faster than those of people who drink coffee. According to their studies, tea stimulates antigens.
6. Exercising! Not only can doing exercise help with muscle development and keeping you fit, but it can also help you fight off flu causing germs. The increase in circulation gets white blood cells moving around the body and this can help you fight off infections. However, exercise cannot do much once you already have the flu, and you should relax until you are able to recover.
7. Not only should you exercise, but eating right and getting enough sleep will keep your immune system happy. Not only will it help you to avoid getting the flu, but if you do happen to get it, you can get over it faster.
8. Hand-to-hand contact is the easiest way for you to catch germs. Some people avoid shaking hands altogether as some people do not always have the best hygiene. If this is your mindset, then try and have something in your hands at all times so that you don’t offend the people who want to shake your hand. As this is not always possible, try and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser as soon as you can.
9. If you happen to get sick, then at least cough and sneeze properly. If you cough into your sleeves, then you won’t go passing germs around to other people through hand-to-hand contact. How often do you touch something with the sleeve on your elbow? It’s better to have the germs on your shirt, than on your hands. The germs will die quickly in your shirt with no warmth or moisture, whereas your hands are warm and oily which create the perfect home for germs.
10. If you do get sick, stay home! People still go to work or school with the flu because they feel that they are up to it or because they have too much work to do to miss a day of work. The reality is that productivity is lost more due to sick workers than those who aren’t there. You also risk infecting your colleges, which reduces their productivity as well; costing your company a lot more money than if you were to stay home for a couple of days. In the end, you are better off staying at home for a couple of days, rather than going back to work.
Following these tips won’t completely eliminate your chances of catching the flu, but it will reduce your chances and give you advice on how to deal with it if you do get it.