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Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season. As someone susceptible to sinus infections and other fun stuff, I’ve cobbled together some safeguards to help me get through the cold and flu season. I’m not a Dr., nurse or other health care professional. These tips are just things I’ve learned from Dr.’s and books that work for me to avoid or shorten common illnesses. Hopefully, they’ll work for you too and keep you healthy.

Every day tips to ward off colds and flu:

1. Work out (if you are able, not if you’re dizzy, etc.). This is especially useful for colds, allergies and asthma (both my Mom and I have asthma and both of our Dr.’s want us on the treadmill or doing some other form of cardio regularly).

2. Sleep. Minimum 7 hours, preferably 8 or 9 per night. When you’re well-rested you’re better able to ward off germs.

3. Nasal irrigation (especially for sinus sufferers): Not the most fun process, but used daily cut my sinus infections in 1/2.

4. Hot tea and hot water: to be blunt, hot liquids thin mucus. There’s nothing like hot water to cut through post-nasal drip. If you’re having one of those cough every time you lay-down nights, a glass of hot water will let you get some sleep. A big bottle of NyQuil also doesn’t hurt.

5. Wash your hands, often. Antibacterial gel doesn’t hurt either. Keep lotion on hand to prevent skin form drying out too much from these protective measures.

6. And my no. 1 tip, that is pretty much impossible to follow, stay away from sick people!

Plane Travel

For those of you who find yourself on planes, here’s my gold standard for avoiding plane spread disease (given to me by a nurse friend and reinforced by my Doctor): Chapstick or lip gloss to seal up all those cracks in your lips, Afrin to spray a protective coating in your nose and keep your sinuses in a non-inflamed state, hand lotion to seal up the cracks in your hands, and turning the recycled air blower positioned above your seat off. For long flights (3+ hours) add in normal facial moisturizer topped immediately with Dermalogica barrier repair to eliminate post-flight dryness and those cross-country airplane breakouts.