From our colleagues to our commuter mates, everyone seems to be sniffling and sneezing and complaining of not feeling well this time of year. So, we asked a doctor for tips on how not to catch what's going around and to stay healthy.
Here's what Dr. Nikita Patel, family physician at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, says to do:
Getting the flu shot and choosing a healthy lifestyle are your first lines of defence against cold and flu. Strengthen your immune system with the following strategies.
- Get the flu shot as early as you can. Influenza can affect everyone, but children under five and adults 65 years and older, especially, are more at risk from developing complications, such as pneumonia.
- Wash your hands often with warm soapy water; clean and disinfect surfaces and shared items.
- Manage stress and aim for a good night's sleep of seven to nine hours. Stress and poor-quality sleep can weaken your immune system, leaving you more prone to infections.
- Stay hydrated and limit or avoid diuretics, such as coffee and alcohol.
- Get outside to reduce your time spent in recirculated air.
- If you do get sick, don't tough it out: Stay at home, rather than risk infecting others.