Tips to Stay Healthy at Work This Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year: the weather is freezing cold, work is insanely busy, and everyone in your office sounds like they have walking pneumonia. But you’ve got a major presentation (or report or initiative) coming up, and you can’t afford to get sick. You can’t barricade yourself in your apartment, so how can you stay healthy?

Follow these tips to make it out of this cold and flu season alive.

Boost Your Immune System

If you’re not sick yet, you’ll want to focus on activities that boost your immune system, your body’s natural defense against cold and flues. Get plenty of exercise (which has been shown to boost immune response), eat lots of fruits and vegetables (to make sure your body has all the vitamins and minerals it needs), and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. The stronger your immune system is, the better your body will be able to fend off any cold and flu viruses it comes into contact with.

Get a Flu Shot

If you haven’t had one already, go get a flu shot. They’re available at most drug stores, health clinics, and your doctor’s office, and may be covered by your insurance. The flu shot will protect you from the flu virus that medical experts view as being the most nasty for that particular cold and flu season.

Keep Your Hands Clean

At work, it’s likely you shake a lot of hands. Wash your hands regularly and keep a jar of hand sanitizer on your desk to use after meetings, using the restroom, using the cafeteria, or after being anywhere else you’ve touched things other people have touched. The ethyl alcohol in hand sanitizer can kill any germs you come into contact with and help prevent their spread. It may sound a little obsessive, but being vigilant during cold and season can make a huge difference in your health.

You may also want to wipe down your equipment – telephone, computer, keyboard headset—with rubbing alcohol periodically also, especially if you share these devices with others, as they can spread cold and flu viruses.

Take Echinacea

If you start to feel a cold coming on, you may want to head to your nearest health food store. According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, taking Echinacea (an herbal supplement) may help alleviate cold symptoms while they’re in their earliest stages. An added bonus? Echinacea won’t make you feel groggy or fuzz-headed like your typical over-the-counter medicines.

Noel Rozny writes myPathfinder, the  career blog for the myFootpath website. myFootpath is a resource to help you in your search for a college, degree program, career, graduate school, and non-traditional experiences. Visit myFootpath to start your college or degree program search.

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