Good Health Habits to Help Avoid Colds and Flu – Advice from the Doctors at South Tampa Immediate Care

good-health-habits-to-avoid-fluWhile the single best way to avoid the flu is to receive a vaccination each year, a generally healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward preventing flu, colds, or many other types of illnesses. In fact, there are several proven prevention strategies that you help you avoid getting sick. The doctors at South Tampa Immediate Care recommend the following everyday actions that you and your family can take to help stop the spread of germs, strengthen your immune system, and prevent the sniffles:

  • Wash your hands, thoroughly and often, with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and face.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, and then discard the tissue.
  • Try to use your sleeve as a barrier when contacting commonly touched surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects, such as countertops and doorknobs, which may be contaminated with germs.
  • Do not share cups or utensils.
  • If you experience flu-like symptoms, stay at home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and when you are sick, stay at home to prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Exercise regularly to help alleviate stress and keep your immune system strong.
  • Drink plenty of water, which is essential for proper hydration and also serves to flush out your system and eliminate toxins.
  • Get sufficient sleep to allow your body to recharge and fight germs when they attack.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke will irritate your airways and make you more susceptible to colds.

Remember that bad habits can be hard to break, so if you have children it’s especially important to instill good hygiene practices in them while they are young. The best way to do so is to be a model of good behavior. Consistency is key; if your kids see you practicing these habits each and every time, they might start doing so on their own. And, by being conscientious about following a healthy routine, you’ll likely enjoy an added bonus of getting sick less often yourself.

For more advice on how to keep yourself and your family healthy, be sure to review our online series of health articles. If you have questions or would like to receive a flu shot, please contact or visit a Tampa doctor at the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic.