10 last-minute wellness tips

A flu vaccine isn't the only thing you can do to prevent infection this holiday season.

Don't let the flu or a cold ruin your holidays this year! Instead, beat the virus with a few quick tips:

Preventative measures
There are a number of steps you can take all winter long to decrease your risk of coming down with the flu. Here are the top five preventative measures you can take:

  1. It's well known that yogurt is good for your digestive health, but it can also boost your immunity. As a result, increasing your intake of yogurt year-round may prevent you from coming down with a flu – so you can watch the ball drop in style!
  2. Garlic may give you bad breath, but it will also reduce your chances of catching a cold. According to Best Health Magazine, garlic supplements may also lessen the severity of your symptoms in the event you do fall ill.1
  3. Maintaining good hygiene habits is always in the best interest of your health, and this is even more important come cold and flu season. So, wash your hands thoroughly using warm water and antibacterial soap.
  4. While you may be tempted to crank up the heat as temperatures dip, this can increase your chances of coming down with an illness throughout the winter. Don't hesitate to open a window or two (just a crack!) to allow some fresh air to circulate.
  5. According to the source, your toothbrush may contain cold- or flu-causing bacteria. By tossing it in the microwave for just 10 seconds, you can kill those germs.

As always, the most useful way to prevent the flu is to get your vaccination! It's not too late, the flu season runs through March, so heading to your local clinic to get the immunization will still provide you with plenty of benefits.

Treatment options
If your preventative measures failed you and you still came down with the flu or a cold, you can take a few steps to reduce the length of your misery. Try these five key get-well tips:

  • No matter what type of illness you've come down with, rest is key for improving your health. Tired of resting in bed? Hit the couch as you continue to relax. And even if you have some last-minute shopping to get done, it's better to hold off until you're feeling better.
  • When you have the flu, you are bound to get dehydrated. So, up your fluid intake! Some of the best options include water, fruit juices and hot tea. It's best to stay away from caffeinated beverages, as these act as diuretics.
  • What you drink may be just as important as what you eat, according to WebMD.2 The source reports that soups can be great for treating upper respiratory tract infections such as the flu. Someone call mom – it's time for a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup!
  • If you have a nasty cold, a warm compress may help to reduce congestion that's built up. Place it on your forehead or nose to help ease your pain. Another great option: Bring a pot of water to a boil, drape a towel over your head and lean over the steam as you breath in through your nose for 30 seconds.
  • When you're dealing with a cold, have someone pick up a few bags of cough drops or throat lozenges for you. Those containing zinc and slippery elm may be the most beneficial, according to WebMD.

No one likes to feel crummy during the holidays, so keep yourself at home to prevent spreading your germs to others if you do get sick. In order to avoid spreading it to your family members, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands regularly and keep the house clean using germ-fighting household products.

Medex Supply has all the supplies you need to prevent infection in your home.

1 Best Health Magazine, "20 ways to beat colds and flu"
2 WebMD, "10 home remedies for the flu" September 20, 2013

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