Flu prevention takes a few simple steps that some people don’t always follow

Every winter season, countless Americans come down with the cold or flu. These issues affect people of all ages and health backgrounds, and having the cold or flu can range from minor annoyance to a more serious medical concern that requires hospitalization. These bugs can be so severe that, as the Yale Scientific pointed out, your immune system becomes impeded. In turn, this lowered defense can impact your greater wellbeing, like delaying proper wound healing. That’s why it’s so essential to take as many steps as possible to protect yourself from or reduce the impact of the cold or flu.

Here are three tips you may want to consider:

1. Try some yogurt

Holly Phillips is a general internist in New York City. Speaking with Health magazine, she said more people should consider yogurt for breakfast when fighting off the cold or flu. That’s because the cultures within yogurt can help prevent the onset of a cold in the first place. In fact, a 2011 study from the Center for Advancing Health found that people who eat yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi and kefir experienced a 12 percent decrease in upper respiratory infections. Just make sure the yogurt has the proper cultures.

2. Wash your hands

Given that so many people get sick each winter, there can be whole armies of nasty viruses floating around you. That’s why most experts will tell you that when it comes to staving off the cold or flu, it’s important to be extra clean. That means washing your hands every time you use the bathroom or head into a public place. This is especially important when it comes to gyms, as you’re exposed to a larger number of open surfaces. It’s a good idea to bring hand sanitizer everywhere you go. As an extension of this, use the crook of your elbow to cover coughs and sneezes.

3. Get the right kind of rest

When you’ve got the cold or flu, it’s a good idea to get as much rest as possible. Don’t feel as if you have to maintain your normal pace; you can’t ever get over this nasty bug if you keep over-exerting yourself. However, it’s important to make sure you’re resting the right way, and that means using an extra pillow. By elevating your head with two or more pillows, you can promote more effective sinus drainage, which opens the nasal passages. This will help you feel better and prevent congestion.

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