Tips to Prevent Getting Sick this Flu Season

Washing HandsInfections can be quickly and easily spread. With the flu season starting this winter here are some great tips and reminders that can help you prevent the spread of infection and illness.

1. Hand Hygiene: One of the easiest ways of preventing the spread of infection is by properly washing your hands. “Properly” being the key word. Rinsing your hands with water or even lathering with some soap and rinsing it off right away are not proper or effective at removing germs. Lathering your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water can remove most of the germs from your hands.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are becoming increasingly popular. I see them in grocery stores, airports and hospitals. They are so common now that little bottles of hand sanitizer on spotted key chains, in people's available cars, on their work desks or in their child's lunch box. When using a hand sanitizer, be sure to use enough cleaner to cover all surfaces. It is important to allow the alcohol to evaporate to achieve proper antisepsis.

2. Oil Swishing: This is not the most common method but I have found it to be extremely effective at keeping me from getting sick. During the flu season, I take a tablespoon of sesame oil and swish it in my mouth for 3 to 4 minutes at a time. I do it three times at least once a week as soon as I wake up in the morning and before I eat anything. It is important to do this on an empty stomach. The swishing of the oil, over the tongue, in between the teeth and around the gums helps to draw out toxins. Just be sure to spit out the oil and do not swallow any of it. After swishing, rinse your mouth with salt water and brush you teeth and tongue.

3. Get Enough Sleep: The holidays can be very busy with activities that can keep you up later than usual. Try and get at least eight hours of sleep a night. A good night's sleep can help keep you healthy and happy this holiday season.