The average adult gets three colds per year, each lasting an average of nine days. It can be tricky to avoid getting sick during cold and flu season, but incorporating a few prevention habits into your routine can help get you through.
Wash your hands
This is the single most effective way to prevent illness. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Germs can grow on bar soap, so choose liquid soap in a pump if you can. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
Keep your hands away from your eyes and face
Even if germs are on your hands, they can’t enter your body unless you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Consciously keeping your hands away from your face prevents self-inoculation.
Disinfect household and workplace objects
Wipe down telephone handsets, cell phones, doorknobs, keyboards, light switches with a disinfectant. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.
Get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated
Give your body the best chance to fight off illness by getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep. Anything less hampers your immune system and triples your odds of getting sick. Drinking water fights fatigue and flushes your system.
Consider a flu shot
If your doctor recommends it, get a flu shot. Flu shot clinics are widely available, and can be very effective at preventing the flu, especially for those with a weakened immune system. Visit Health Canada’s website for more information about flu shots.
If you do get sick, stay home until your symptoms are gone. Your coworkers will appreciate you not spreading germs to them, and your body will bounce back more quickly.