The number of people getting sick is on the rise. The common cold or the flu can run you down for weeks. And the worst part is that life doesn’t stop while you stay home sipping chicken soup. Chores, errands and work pile up, and playing catch-up is far from enjoyable.
According to a survey from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index:
- In January of this year, 10.2 percent of Americans reported that they had a cold the day before the survey, up from 10 percent in December. That’s higher than the 8.4 percent of people who reported colds last year, and the 9.2 percent who had colds in January 2009.
- At the same time, polls reported the flu is on the rise, climbing to 3.1 percent in January, up from 2.4 percent last year and 2.9 percent in 2009. This is according to the poll, which asks 1,000 Americans each day whether they had a cold or flu the day before.
How Can You Stay Healthy? Here are some Tips:
- Hands Off: 80% of colds are spread by direct contact with people who are already sick. It is the number one way germs are transmitted. So keep your distance when possible.
- Keep it Clean: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that hand-washing is the single-most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission. Make sure you lather your hands up frequently.
- Drink More Water: Drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water should already be part of your daily routine, but especially during cold and flu season. Water is used by every cell in your body and essential for flushing out toxins and germs.
- Drink Green Tea: Canadian researchers added green tea to lab samples of the adenovirus (one of the bugs responsible for colds), and found that it stopped the virus from replicating. All the credit goes to EGCG, a chemical compound found in certain kinds of tea, but in the highest concentrations in green tea.
- Exercise: Quite simply, people who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick. Exercise keeps your immune system strong and also reduces stress levels. The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to catch the cold or flu.
- Sleep On It:Getting a good night’s rest is essential to a healthy immune system. Resting allows the body to recuperate, so it is ready to fight another day. Adults should get at least 7-9 hours, more for younger teens and children.
More than 1 billion colds plague Americans from October through March every year. Take some simple steps to put up your best fight this year.