10 Surprising Tips to Avoid the Flu

Flu season is upon us. Avoiding the flu requires taking preventive measures to reduce your risk of getting infected. While some methods are well-known (we highly recommend a flu shot), there are also some surprising ways to help avoid the flu. Here are our top 10 lesser-known tips to avoid getting the flu this season.

1. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration helps maintain the mucous membranes in your respiratory tract, which act as a defense against viruses like the flu.

2. Humidify Your Home: Using a humidifier can help keep the air moist, which can reduce the transmission of flu viruses as they thrive in dry environments.

3. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Regularly brush your teeth and clean your tongue. Good oral hygiene can help prevent the introduction of flu viruses through your mouth.

4. Get Adequate Sleep: A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, including the flu.

5. Practice Yoga or Meditation: Stress can weaken your immune system. Activities like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress levels, making you less susceptible to illnesses.

6. Laugh More: Laughter has been shown to boost the production of antibodies and activate immune cells, which can help fend off infections.

7. Eat Probiotic Foods: Probiotics can help support your gut health, which is closely linked to your immune system. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are good sources of probiotics.

8. Limit Sugar Intake: High sugar consumption can suppress the immune system. Reducing your sugar intake can help strengthen your body's defenses against the flu.

9. Exercise Regularly: Exercise improves blood circulation and helps immune cells move through the body more effectively. It also reduces stress, which can weaken your immune response.

10. Opt for Contactless Payments: Using digital payment methods or contactless cards reduces your exposure to germs on cash or card machines.

It's essential to prepare yourself with a variety of tools to fend off the flu. While getting a flu shot is a well-established practice, these additional methods, which are often overlooked, will help to strengthen your defenses against the flu.

Posted: 11/6/2023 by Michaela Anthony, RN at Nashua Center for Internal Medicine