Let's talk today about some general advice for preventing respiratory infections which can really ramp up in late Fall through much of Winter. *Remember though that these are general suggestions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice from your personal Physician. With that said, here are some tips and suggestions.
Number one for so many contagious illnesses worldwide is to wash your hands often. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after public places or touching surfaces that may contain germs. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill germs on your hands. Be sure to use moisturizer regularly to avoid skin dryness, cracks and injury.
Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth as this could introduce microorganisms into your body. Along with this be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow and stay away from others when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues properly and then wash your hands immediately.
Avoid close proximity to those people who are not in your household who are or may be ill and practice the same if its you, especially in crowded areas. Cracking windows for better household ventilation in colder climates may help too.
Frequently clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and electronic devices.
Cold and damp conditions can weaken the immune system, so dress warmly in cold weather to prevent respiratory infections. This includes indoors, staying overdressed is far easier than trying to warm up after getting badly chilled too.
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water helps maintain the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, making it more difficult for viruses to enter the body. Keep a bottle (not plastic) handy and start early in the day to avoid sleep disruption too.
Boost your immune system with balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy grains. Key nutrients are at a minimum Vitamin A, C, D, E and zinc. I know I talk about nutrition like this all the time as it is a BIG reason so many become ill!
Be sure you exercise regularly and get enough restful sleep to support a healthy immune system.
All of these of course are generalizations. If you have any specific concerns or conditions, it is important to consult your personal Physician professional for individualized advice relevant to your body and health history.
Lastly, if you are feeling crappy, please jump on it, don't wait for things to worsen before contacting your Physician. Stay leery of miracle Social Media and Web "cures and miracle supplements". Early Physician intervention can often go a long way in reducing severity for much of what ails us.
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