I always love the fall. It is a lot of fun. It starts with the harvest and fall colors, then trick-or-treat, followed by thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas gatherings. Unfortunately, all the fun is often accompanied by the flu, the cold, the cough, and some more of each. Plus post-vacation strain, back-to-school stress, and anxiety about the holidays often put pressure on our immune systems, making us easy victims to the germs.
According to data from Brown University, each year 5-20% of the US population is sickened by the flu. Of those infected, over 100,000 have to be hospitalized due to complication. About 20,000 die from flu-related causes. So what can we do to protect ourselves?
RID THE GERMS
Remember, we were asked to wash our hands before dinner? CDC agrees - washing hands is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of germs. Our hands are in direct contact with many surfaces laden with germs. Rubbing our noses, eyes and months with our hands then transmit the germs to our respiratory systems. But washing our hands can be a science.
First hot or cold water? Water alone, even if it is hot to our skin, cannot kill germs. Water is needed for the proper functioning of soaps. Study has shown that either hot or cold water can do the job. Warm water may increase comfort on touch, and hence make us more willing to wash our hands.
For how long? CDC recommends rubbing our hands for 20 seconds. Without a timer, no worries. 20 seconds is about the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.
BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS
Regardless how often we wash our hands, we can't possibly ward off germs altogether. Another line of defense is to boost our immune systems. Here are some tips.
Exercise regularly. Train our systems to cope with stress. Best is to choose an activity that fits our interest. Have good sleeps for our bodies to rejuvenate.Enjoy diets rich in nutrition and antioxidants.Take supplements if necessary. Supplements may just be herbs fresh from our gardens. Be happy. Being mentally apt, avoid conflict, and participate in joyful activities. Data supports the hypothesis that positive emotional states are better off in responding to illness.Rid waste through detoxification.Consult our primary care professionals. Doctors focusing on naturopathic, homeopathic , Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicines emphasize preventative measures using natural approaches.