11 Great Tips to Help Stop Colds and Flu

It’s cold and flu season and time to think about how to protect the family against colds and flu. This is one of the worst flu seasons on record and hundreds of people have died from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising everyone get a flu shot but this years strain of the flu seems to be stronger than the vaccine. The United States has put men on the Moon but doctors still can’t find a cure for the common cold. Speaking of space travel, travel has become a big contributor to colds and flu. The trains, planes, and automobiles that take us great distances also carry our cold and flu viruses. Do you think that means one day we’ll spread colds and flu to the Moon? I don’t know about that but I do know that quick and easy travel helps spread germs quickly. In the meantime how do we prepare to fight off colds and the flu? Most people head off to a local store to buy a cold remedy or they order medicine online somewhere like Walgreens.com, CVS.com, or Riteaid.com. But here are some more things you can do in addition to taking medicine for colds and flu.

1. Wash Your Hands

Cold & Flu germsOne of the easiest ways to protect against colds and flu is to wash your hands with soap and warm water. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, for 15 – 20 seconds, can go a long way toward killing some of the germs that cause colds and flu. Remember, to stop at the sink and wash your hands with warm water and soap before you leave the bathroom. That should help keep some flu germs off of your hands.

A Polace Did The Trick Back In My Day

We couldn’t always afford doctors and medicine when I was a kid so we relied on some homemade medicine from time to time. My grandmother, who it was said had Native American roots, made what she called a ‘Polace’ when we got colds or the flu. She would slice up a potato and and add some ‘medicines’ to the potato slices. She would wrap all of it up in a cloth diaper and place it on our chest as we lay on our backs in bed. Then she would pull the covers up over us and we would go to sleep. The next morning the bed would be soaking wet from sweat but we would be ready for school because those polaces had sweated the colds out of us overnight.

2. Hands Off!

Keep hands aaway from faceWashing your hands is a great way to kill cold and flu germs but it may not get all of them. So don’t touch your face if you can avoid it. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes as much as possible. If you get the germs that cause colds and flu on your hands and touch your face, it helps those germs get into your body and make you sick.

3. Hand Sanitizer

A quick and easy way to kill those cold and influenza germs is to use hand sanitizer. This is a great way to stay germ free in between hand washes. You can find pocket-sized bottles of sanitizer that fit into a purse at most stores. Many of them come with a handy way to attach the bottle to a key chain. Due to germs ability to adapt to medicine, some people argue that widespread use of hand sanitizer is contributing to creating a super germ. For now, it’s a great way to clean hands when you’re on the run.

4. Medication

While there are some medications that help prevent illnesses, most medications only cover up the symptoms of cold and flu. That’s because colds and the flu have to run their courses because there’s no cure for them. But some people that claim some of the newer medications stop colds in their tracks if taken at the first sign of a cold. In the meantime, we wait for a cure from the medical research field. Btw though not technically a medicine, don’t forget moms chicken noodle soup? Somehow it made you feel better whether it was the TLC or the soup or both.

Tip: Don’t forget to go to Walgreens.com or CVS.com to order Kleenex wet wipes and tissues.

5. Multivitamins

multivitaminsTaking a multivitamin may help prevent colds and flu. Some people swear by multivitamins. Multivitamins are a multi-billion dollar business. Whether you take One a Day Vitamins or some other multi-vitamin, Americans are taking a lot of vitamin supplements. The medical profession is divided on whether multivitamins actually help or not. But some people believe their multivitamins work medical wonders. Some proponents claim that multivitamins protect from everything from heart health to colon cancer. It may be the placebo effect that causes people to think vitamins help. But vitamins may actually help. There’s no conclusive medical evidence either way.

6. Clean Up Your Act

Our grandmothers used to say that cleanliness is next to Godliness. That may or may not be true but I do know that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends keeping kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean and germ free to help prevent disease. Our mothers and grandmothers used bleach to keep things around the house clean. Today it comes in spray bottles that make it convenient to spray and wipe away germs.

7. Flu Shots

Flu shot syringeIt’s also time to get a flu shot. This is a good thing for everyone to do but it’s especially important for children and elderly people to get the flu vaccine. Children need flu shots due to help their developing immune systems. Elderly people need flu shots to help their weakening immune systems fend off influenza. You can get the flu vaccine at your doctors office, some local pharmacies and wellness centers.

8. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep

Doctors recommend getting enough sleep. Rest is an important part of fighting off sickness. Sleep helps our body recover from physical and mental stress so that it can operate at it’s best. Your body needs a certain amount of sleep (approximately 4 hours) before it gets into the deep recovery sleep that you need. This is known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep. Most medical professionals recommend at least eight hours of sleep. It may not be possible for everyone to get eight hours of sleep but that should be the goal.

9. Exercise

Exercise is a key component of overall good health. Exercise helps flush toxins from your body. One of the problems with exercise is sometimes people decide they’re going to start exercising and they jump into an exercise that’s too rigorous. Then they either hurt themselves, quit, or both. Try to find an exercise that you enjoy doing on a regular basis and ease into it. Being fit helps your body, including your resistance work at optimum levels.

Eat Healthy

Healthy eatingEating healthy meals and eating on a good schedule can help avoid colds and flu. A proper diet plays a major role in helping keep us healthy. We get vitamins and nutrients from the foods we eat. We need vitamins and nutrients to help ward off colds and flu. The old saying is “You are what you eat.”

10. Prayer and Meditation

Some medical studies suggest that people of faith are healthier than people that don’t observe a faith practice. Of course, there are many that see faith and medicine as two distinctly different disciplines that should be kept separate. But sections of the faith community believe in “faith” healing. It’s an option that may or may not make a difference for you.

11. Let’s not Shake On It

You know those guys that are always doing fist bumps when they greet one another? Fist bumping, also known as Dapping, is simply lightly bumping your fist against another persons fist. Well it’s more than just some kind of cool handshake that the fellas came up with. It’s actually a great way to prevent spreading cold and flu germs. Fist bumping avoids the palm-to-palm contact of the traditional handshake. If you agree that this can help prevent cold and flu, let’s not shake on it. Just give me some Dap.