Fever, stomach ache, vomiting, muscle ache, severe fatigue, and a runny nose… these are just a few of the symptoms of the flu. This illness is caused by the influenza virus, which settles in your throat. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid catching it. The same basic rules apply as for the coronavirus: keep your distance, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and wash your hands often. But these tips can also help:
Are you in a high risk group for flu? Get your flu jab!
If you have been vaccinated, you are less likely to become seriously ill from the flu. The flu jab can really make a huge difference, especially for people over 60 and for people who suffer from heart or lung diseases.
Eat healthily and exercise
Eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise help to improve your immune system.A varied diet provides you with vitamins, and exercise promotes good blood circulation, which is key for transporting nutrients through your body effectively. Exercise is also good for your lymph nodes, which are like hubs for white blood cells that prevent viruses from spreading through your body.
Drink plenty of water
Make sure you drink at least one and a half to two litres of water a day to stay hydrated. This prevents your mucous membranes from drying out. And it is these membranes, especially the ones in your nose, that are key when it comes to avoiding infections! They stop viruses before they even enter your body.
Get plenty of fresh air
Did you know that vitamin D is great for your immune system? The main source of this vitamin is you! Your body produces it when you are exposed to sunlight. So going outside and getting fresh air is a great way to make sure you don’t get sick!
Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night
While you sleep, the cells in your body repair themselves, which in turn means that they are better able to fight off viruses and bad bacteria. So make sure you get plenty of sleep.
When you’re stressed, your body goes into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. It focuses more on your muscles, for example, to make sure you can run away quickly. This might come in handy if you come face to face with a lion, but not if you want to avoid getting ill. Your immune system gets neglected, and that has consequences.
Ventilate your home and workplace
If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it’s that aerosols play a huge role in spreading flu. Aerosols are tiny droplets that can linger in the air for up to a quarter of an hour. Make sure you have a good ventilation system and open windows for at least 15 minutes a day. This airs the rooms and improves air quality.