How to Avoid Illness this Season
By Sara Butler
When everyone is stuck inside all season, it creates the perfect conditions for bacteria and viruses to set up shop and bring you down. Here are a few ways you can help to support a healthy immune system, stop viruses in their little tracks and avoid germs all season long!
Utilize the Internet
One of the best ways to avoid germs is to avoid people – crowds of people. If you can minimize the time you spend at places like the store or the mall, then you can minimize your exposure. For example, shopping carts are a breeding ground for bacteria.
The University of Arizona did a study on grocery store carts and a whopping 72 percent of store carts tested positive for colistrom and 20 percent for E. coli. Both of those things can make you really sick, aside from their giant ick factor. If you do have to go out to the store, you should definitely wipe down cart handles with wipes; most stores nowadays provide some for your use in their cart corrals.
The gym is great, and exercise is actually a great way to support a healthy immune system. The problem is that the gym also happens to put you in contact with a lot of people – people who also happen to be sweating and breathing all over the machinery. When the weather permits it, you should move your run, walk or bike outside. This will also help to give you a needed dose of Vitamin D from the sun, which also helps to support your immune system. If you can’t workout during the day, think about taking an evening fitness class in which you don’t have to touch equipment. If neither of these things appeals to you, wash your hands and wipe down your equipment before and after you use it.
Your Party Protocol
Getting together with friends and coworkers during the holidays is great. You might be worried about shaking hands with all of those people, but that’s not actually what should be worrying you. The biggest thing to avoid at parties is the buffet. Bacteria can easily set up shop in your favorite dish after just two hours. You don’t want to take home a stomach bug from the party along with all those good memories!
No one says you have to be a hermit this time of year to avoid getting ill, but less is always more when it comes to coming into contact with people, and you may be better off avoiding it as much as you can!