At St. Vincent Hospital, our healthcare experts recommend these 10 tried-and-true tips for you to keep in mind every day, as we enter the short days of winter and the busy holiday season.
First, a good offense is the best defense against germs and infection.
1. Wash your hands as much as possible. Lather thoroughly.
2. Don’t touch your face. Your nose and eyes are the most common places for germs to get into your body.
3. Keep your distance from sick people. If you do have to be around illness, be vigilant about washing your hands and not touching your face.
4. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on hand. It’s the next best thing to soap and water.
5. Get your low-cost or no-cost flu shot every year.
6. Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of infections by making structural changes in the respiratory tract and decreasing immune response.
And these tips are all about boosting your immune system:
7. Get your ZZZs. To stay in germ-fighting shape, we emphasize that eight (or so) hours of sleep a night is optimal.
8. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Consume a variety every day, and remember, fresh is best.
9. Work out regularly.
10. Smile! Positive thinking, petting your dog and other pleasurable activities and behaviors boost your immune system and make it harder for viruses to stick.
Finally, do your part to keep others healthy, too. If you get sick and have to cough or sneeze, do so into the crook of your elbow, not into your hands. Stay home from work if you’re sick, to avoid the spread of infection.
The St. Vincent team extends our sincere wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy, vibrant 2020.