Each year, catching the flu seems almost inevitable during the cold winter months.
As you may already know, influenza (a.k.a the flu) is a viral respiratory infection that is passed from one person to another. Accordingly, practising good health habits like covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands frequently can go a long way in limiting the spread of germs and preventing respiratory illnesses.
The following lifestyle tips will help you stay healthy this flu season:
- Limit interactions with people who are ill. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Wash your hands frequently. Flu viruses are spread by droplets from infected people when they sneeze, blow their nose, or wipe away secretions from their nose or eyes. Protect yourself from germs by washing your hands frequently. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins C and E. Foods containing these vitamins are believed to be helpful in supporting the immune system. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower and corn oils, sunflower seeds as well as nuts like almonds and peanuts. You can get your daily dose of vitamin C from foods like oranges, strawberries, broccoli and peppers. Additionally, make an effort to reduce your intake of refined sugars (e.g. soda, candy) because excessive sugar consumption impairs the immune response.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep may profoundly inhibit your immune system. Get a full night’s rest to keep your body’s natural defenses at optimum efficiency. Try to be aware of what your body needs (8 hours minimum) and take short naps (15-30 minutes) if necessary.
- Stay hydrated. Increasing your water intake will help you stay healthy and lessen the chance of you coming down with flu. When you are feeling under the weather, drinking extra fluids (warm liquids preferably) prevents dehydration, loosens mucus, and keeps your throat moist.
- Cover up when you sneeze or cough. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or arm when coughing or sneezing. It prevents infectious droplets to be spread in the air.
- Exercise regularly. Not only can regular exercise lower stress, but research indicates that exercise can stimulate the immune system. 
And what if you’re hit with flu-like symptoms anyway?
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling under the weather, take it easy and take a break. Spending excessive energy steals valuable resources from your immune system. Even attempting to perform normal activities at work or school may be too much. Besides, if you believe you’re coming down with the flu, the best thing you can probably do for your friends and family is to not expose them unnecessarily to the virus.
- Keep Oscillococcinum* readily available. At the onset of flu-like symptoms, take Oscillo to relieve body aches, headache, fever and chills and reduce the duration of flu symptoms.
- Seek help if you get worse and talk to your doctor. Get professional advice if you are at risk for complications from the flu. If your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
*Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic medicine for the relief of flu-like symptoms: body aches, headache, fever and chills. It reduces the duration of flu symptoms.
This homeopathic medicine may not be right for everyone. Always read and follow the label.