Everywhere you look, someone around you is either sick with a cold or the flu. It almost makes you want to stay at home and hide! But, for those of us that must go out, here are some tips that can help you stay healthy during the winter season:
- Stay warm- it’s cold outside and keeping warm is key.
- Wash your hands a lot – winter illnesses are easily spread by hands. Wash both sides of the hands and between the fingers for at least 20 seconds, use soap and warm water and dry hands with a paper towel or clean dry towel.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer – If you can’t get to soap and water, sanitizer can help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Eat sensibly- choosing to eat healthily helps build your immune system. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
- Exercise daily- a 30-minute walk outside gives you fresh air and helps your body get stronger.
- Get the flu vaccine – for some people the flu vaccine is free. Even if you have not taken yours yet, it is not too late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine.
- Avoid getting close to people who are sick. For example, don’t shake hands.
- Keep your surroundings clean- Sanitize doorknobs and light switches daily.
- If you feel unwell, see your doctor – if you’re unwell and not recovering, take a visit to your pharmacy or doctor for the best advice.
- If you are sick, stay home to help prevent the spread of unwanted germs to others.
For more information and resources, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm or contact your local extension office.
Lori Wiggins- UF/IFAS Extension Agent iii