flu

5 Ways to Prevent Flu

Do you know people who always seem to be sick?

I know I do.

While you can’t totally prevent illness, by following a healthy lifestyle it certainly goes a long way to help easing your symptoms, as well as reducing the frequency of days off with flu.

Here are 5 things you can do to prevent flu

1. Eat a healthy diet

When your immune system receives a regular supply of essential nutrients, it will be able to protect you against bacteria, viruses and other organisms that cause disease or illness.

So, first and foremost, you should aim to eat a well-balanced diet, including a wide range of foods.

Extremely important: make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, so that you’re benefiting from all those nutrients:

  • Have a fresh orange with your breakfast
  • Have a salad at lunchtime with lots of raw veggies
  • Stock your freezer with a selection of frozen vegetables for those times when you’re really busy
  • Always keep fruit in your car, bag or your desk drawer to snack on throughout the day
  • Start your dinner with salad or vegetable soup, then follow with another two veg portions with dinner

Eating a healthy diet will make sure your body is getting a rich supply of the amino acids it needs to build your immune system.

Lean meats are also important as they contain iron and zinc, and a deficiency in these can depress your immune system.

So, other healthy foods to include regularly in a balanced diet are:

  • Lean meats, fish, poultry
  • Eggs
  • Full fat dairy
  • Legumes – peas, beans and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds

You should also try to stay away from excess sugar and unhealthy trans fats.

2. Get some sleep

Getting a consistent amount of sleep is so vitally important to overall health.

And, sleep is tied to the balance of hormones cortisol and melatonin—adequate levels of these hormones are so important to a properly functioning immune system.

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It seems when you sleep is important too.

Apparently, the optimal spring/summer bedtime is between 9 – 10 p.m., and the optimal fall/winter bedtime is between 8 – 9 p.m.

Also, a sleep cycle started prior to midnight is thought to be far more effective than that started after midnight. So, get some Zzzzzz…

Check out this article on improving sleep quality.

3. Exercise regularly

There’s no doubt exercising regularly is a habit, and it’s easy to fall out of that habit, but evidence suggests those who take regular exercise don’t get sick as often.

So, try to find something you enjoy doing and make some space in your schedule each week so that you can fit it in.

Remember, it’s important to keep active in winter too, so if you’re not into going out in the frost and snow, try using exercise videos in your own home, or go to your local leisure centre for a swim or to use their gym.

4. Cut your stress levels

Getting stressed is thought to hinder your immune system, and in fact constant stress may even increase your risk of getting certain conditions of the heart, allergic reactions, and immunity problems.

Check out these stress banishing tips for more advice.

5. If you get sick

It’s not always possible to avoid getting sick, so if you do get ill here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Go for small regular meals and snacks
  • Drink lots of fluids such as water, milk, dilute fruit juices, tea, etc
  • Choose soft, easy to swallow foods, such as nourishing soups, milk, milky puddings, canned fruit
  • Ask for help from a close friend or family member if you need it
  • Get plenty of rest

What are your tips on how to prevent flu?

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CoachMel5 Ways to Prevent Flu

Comments 11

    1. Melanie

      Hey Gordie,
      Couldn’t agree more–give me diet over pills any day. I’m a bit frantic about NOT taking pills to be honest, I’d nearly rather suffer than take something if I can help it!

  1. Cathy in NZ

    you left out ‘hand washing’

    not just a quick rinse with hot water but thorough soaping up and then rinsing off and a thorough drying.

    because I’m at a bit Uni something like 30,000 student/staff on the the main campus and the Swine Flu’ epidemic was a threat, I put in place a thorough handwashing sequence throughout the day…I didn’t catch anything

    until…it was the break time and I believe that was because some of the stress/rushing about stopped!

    Uni itself survived…apparently if the epidemic had gotten under way, Uni would have been closed down. Notices were sent out at the time of exams saying that if you were sick with any sort of flu’ to stay home, email the Uni and then later when you were better your exams would be rescheduled.
    .-= Cathy in NZ´s last blog ..RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY! =-.

    1. Melanie

      Hi Cathy,
      Yes, very true, hand washing is essential. Perhaps you didn’t catch swine flu though because your immunity is so strong with all your healthy eating and exercise??? :-)

  2. healthcareandlife.com

    Add cleanliness to the list as it’s one of the most ignored things especially among kids
    .-= healthcareandlife.com´s last blog ..Simple Steps to Fight Constipation =-.

  3. Selina

    The number one thing we can do is wash our hands. Also avoid putting your fingers in your mouth or around your eyes and nose. I am a big believer in comfort foods. Anything warm or slightly spicy always makes me feel better. Having someone there helps too. I am a big believer in immune boosting foods like garlic and onions as well. Some people may say that it doesn’t work, but I believe it does and hey anything that makes you feel better is always good!

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