Wash your hands. You get sick for one reason and one reason only: germs. Bacteria and viruses make you ill by finding a way into your body through physical contact. Don't let them get you. Since most of your contact with the world happens through your hands, washing them can stop germs from making the leap from contaminated surfaces to inside your body.
Don't touch your face. Even if your hands are relatively clean, chances are some germs will find a way to survive there. But these parasites will only compromise your health if they can get into your body.
Avoid sick people. Germs are everywhere, but they are particularly concentrated in people who are sick. Keep these people away from you and disinfect everything they touch. I especially recommend avoiding anyone who regularly works with children (aka little disease factories) like teachers and pediatricians. Sorry guys, you're contagious!
Don't eat group food. In flu season, I completely avoid large party dips that involve dipping directly into the bowl rather than scooping with a clean spoon onto individual plates. Why? People may use the hand they just sneezed in to turn a chip around a few times until they find the perfect dipping angle. That means they are adding their nasty germs directly into the salsa. Yuck.
Get enough sleep. Although I haven't actually gotten sick, there have been times when I felt as though I might come down with something (this last weekend for instance). One of the best ways I found to avoid getting seriously sick is to get extra sleep for a few days. Recently this recommendation was backed up by some hard science on sleep and illness.
Don't drink alcohol. Another way to avoid coming down with something serious if you are starting to get sick is to skip on drinking for a few days. According to a new study drinking large amounts affects your immune system, making it weaker for 24 hours.
Hydrate. When your body is fighting an illness your immune system isworking overtime. Make sure it has everything it needs to function at its best, including plenty of water.
Skip a workout. If you feel like you might be getting sick but aren't sure, don't go to the gym. Your body needs all its extra resources to fend off whatever virus or bacteria you've been exposed to, so save all the energy you've got.
Eat well. You may be disinclined to eat if you aren't feeling well, but be sure that whatever you do manage to get down is nutritious and healthy. It's not a good idea to eat foods that induce inflammation (simple sugars and starches) when your body is already weakened.
Take your vitamins. One of the most consistent things I've noticed that correlates with my health is how often I take multivitamins, and especially vitamin D. Most of us are deficient, so taking 2,000-4,000 IU is a good idea for almost everyone.
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