Although it is possible to catch a viral infection during the summer, the risk increases with the start of the fall and winter months. Contracting the flu or even a common cold can leave you feeling weak and unable to perform daily activities, so it is important to reduce your exposure to germs as much as possible. Luckily, there are proven steps you can take to avoid frequent visits to urgent care due to sickness. Here are three essential tips to consider before the cold and flu season.
How to Avoid Contracting the Flu & Common Cold
1. Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated is one of the most critical factors of staying healthy since our bodies are made up of 60% water. Water helps regulate body temperature, builds cells, and flushes waste from the body. If you frequently complete daily activities without replenishing the water in your body, these functions may not work efficiently. This weakens your immune system, making your body more susceptible to bacteria.
Although most people are familiar with the standard daily water intake of eight glasses, this number can vary based on a variety of factors. For example, if you like to exercise outdoors in hot weather, you may need more than eight glasses after losing a lot of water through sweating.
2. Frequently Wash Your Hands
Although your skin is an effective barrier that protects the inside of your body, washing your hands is still an essential part of preventing viral infections. This is because germs can enter the body through the nose, eyes, or mouth. Touching these areas with unwashed hands makes you more vulnerable to sickness.
To wash your hands effectively and remove harmful viruses and bacteria, you should scrub your hands with mild soap under running water for at least 20 seconds. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends repeating this action before food preparation, after using the restroom, and after touching animals. Additionally, if you are unable to use soap and water, using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is an excellent temporary solution.
3. Regularly Clean Surfaces
In addition to our hands, bacteria can stay on high-touch surfaces such as computer keyboards, cell phones, doorknobs, and kitchen counters. Cleaning these areas every day can help reduce your exposure to sickness. Products that you should use on these surfaces include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and isopropyl alcohol. Disinfectant wipes can also be used to spot clean areas such as doorknobs and handles.
If you are sick and in need of urgent care, contact HDR Healthcare Network. Based in the Bronx, NY, this healthcare provider has multiple facilities located throughout New York City. These professionals also provide a wide variety of services, including pediatrics, gastroenterology, and cardiology. Visit them online to learn more about their urgent care location, and call (929) 256-5005 to schedule an appointment today.