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Snuff out Sniffles

By Jill Feilmeier on January 16, 2014 in Healthy Living

1.16 Snuff out Sniffles

It's almost inevitable: during cold and flu season (roughly October to May), you're probably going to pick up some kind of bug that leaves you feeling down and out. Fight back by following these tips.

Get The Shot

Get over your fear of needles if you want to get through the flu season untouched. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older get a yearly flu vaccine. Don't worry; you can still get vaccinated even if you do have aichmophobia (fear of needles) — a nasal spray vaccine is available for most people, though there are restrictions. Consult your physician about which vaccine is best for you.

Get Some TLC

Take care of yourself! It seems obvious, but with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to rely on unhealthy food, stay up too late or forget to refill your water bottle. To keep sniffles and sneezes at bay, make sure you're sleeping enough, eating healthy foods, getting some physical activity and drinking lots of fluids. A little bit of stress is normal (and healthy), but try to avoid high-stress situations and take a few deep breaths from time to time.

Get Your Own Utensils

Sure, sharing is nice — most of the time. The exceptions include straws, utensils, cups, food and anything else that could transfer germs from mouth to mouth. Not only is that a good way to get a virus, but sharing these items also makes it easy for cavity-causing bacteria to travel from tooth to tooth. Play it safe: Don't share.

Get Good Hygiene

OK, you probably already have good hygiene, but cold and flu season is the perfect time to step it up. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially if it's been awhile since you've scrubbed your hands. If you aren't near running water, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Continue to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day to help remove bacteria between the teeth, and consider using an antibacterial mouthwash if you aren't already — it can help diminish some of the bacteria in the mouth.