It’s the most wonderful time of the year… flu season! Let’s talk about some ways to stay healthy this holiday season so you can spread love and not germs.
The truth is germs are everywhere and spread very easily. With the common cold, many catch it by not washing their hands after touching doorknobs in public places. The fecal-oral route is one of the easiest ways to get sick. If you’re in a public place, always wash your hands or use sanitizer after touching the doorknobs in the bathrooms. Some people do not wash their hands after using the lavatory and transfer bacteria to the doorknob. If someone comes along and touches it after they do and then proceeds to rub their eyes or eat, they are encountering the bacteria.
The flu spreads a little differently. Experts say flu viruses spread mainly by droplets created when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk . When in proximity with someone who sneezes or coughs, these droplets can land in the noses or mouths of people who are nearby or potentially be inhaled into the lungs . While the flu virus can still be spread by contact with contaminated surfaces or people who are sick, it is less likely than the spread through droplets.
One of the easiest ways to stay healthy this winter is also one of the simplest, wash your hands! When? All the time. Especially when out in public during the holiday season as crowds are significantly bigger and more germs are being spread. When you wash your hands, be sure to lather up the soap and scrub in between your fingers as this is one of the most common areas bacteria is missed. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
In addition, take your vitamins and manage your stress! Shopping, traveling, and family can be major stressors during the holidays. Keep your immune system strong by drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, and eating a few vegetables here and there.
While we tend to think of flus and colds during the holiday season, the sinuses are also affected. This is because the dry winter air dries out the mucus membrane which is one of our body’s natural defenses (mucus traps bacteria). Along with your vitamins, consider taking an oral probiotic. Oral probiotics have been shown to decrease the bacteria in the nose and upper respiratory tract , which will decrease sinus infections.
The holiday season is upon us and while it’s filled with holiday treats and time with loved ones, it can also be a time of germ spreading, decreased immunity, and getting sick. Stay healthy this winter by washing your hands, taking an oral probiotic with your Christmas cookies, and finding some time to rest among the hustle and bustle of the holidays.