By Jennifer Smith, CHN, BHC, FBCC
Cold and flu prevention comes down to a handful of healthy lifestyle habits. If you want to avoid getting the cold, flu and coronavirus, it all comes down to your lifestyle. There are a variety of things you can do or avoid doing each day that will reduce your risk as much as possible.
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This recipe was created for a 2 oz. spray bottle (for easy portability)
The Bible tells us to wash our hands under running water, and this advice is still good today. The Bible also says to wash your hands before breaking bread and eating. Before sitting down to eat any meal, get into the habit of washing your hands.
Contrary to popular belief, antibacterial soap is not needed to disinfect our hands. All we really need is soap, water and taking a few extra seconds to make sure we wash thoroughly. This is good news for most, since antibacterial anything is hard to come by at the moment due to to all of this going on with the coronavirus recently.
Washing your hands continues to be one of the best ways to prevent the cold, flu, and other viruses you get from human contact. If you wash your hands often enough, even minor contact with others who have the cold or flu won’t affect you. It is typically when you shake hands with someone who has the flu virus, then touch your nose or mouth, when you get the virus yourself. Wash your hands whenever you get the opportunity to do so.
Ever since we came home from the hospital with our first child 7 years ago, my family has had the habit of washing our hands as soon as we walk in the house. This one simple thing takes but a minute and I think has helped us to avoid many colds and flu viruses.
When you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol free hand sanitizer made with the active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride. This provides 24 hours of protection against germs on your hands. Alcohol based hand sanitizers only work for a few minutes after you use it.
If you can't find hand sanitizers in stores, not to worry. You can make it pretty easily. My favorite recipe is listed here for cold and flu prevention.
You also want to keep getting enough nutrients and vitamins into your system to help build a barrier against bacteria and viruses that lead to the cold and flu. You can do this by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Try to go for fresh, whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. With this making up the bulk of your diet, you will be getting plenty of nutrients to help prevent the cold and flu.
Don’t forget about exercise! This isn’t just good for weight loss and improving your heart health, but can actually boost your immune system. When you have a stronger immune system, you have a better resistance to colds and other similar illnesses. Try to walk a few days a week or get other forms of moderate exercise on a regular basis. Just make sure to not overdo the exercise, because too much can stress your body and reduce your immunity.
Not only will washing your hands help to prevent the cold and flu, but having a clean workspace also helps tremendously. In the workplace, no matter where you work, there is a risk of germs and bacteria spreading between co-workers. Try to keep antibacterial wipes at your desk, wiping down surfaces as often as needed, from the edge of your desk, to your phone and keyboard.
Lastly, if you struggle with your diet, you might not be getting enough nutrients to help prevent the cold and flu viruses from affecting your body. Taking extra vitamins and supplements can ensure you have the proper vitamin E, echinacea, and other nutrients that help you to boost your immune system. I take at least 3 grams (3,000 mg) of vitamin C a day, and 30 mg. of zinc. Read our previous post called Nutritional Treatment of Coronavirus to learn more about what vitamins help to treat and prevent illness.
Here are some final thoughts on cold and flu prevention. Be sure to get plenty of rest, 7 to 8 hours a night is a good goal to aim for. Use essential oils in your home and be sure to keep stress at a minimum. Stress and not enough sleep can tank your immune system and cause you to be more susceptible to illness.
Jennifer Smith is certified in Holistic Nutrition, a Biblical Health Coach and Faith-Based Clinical Counselor. She has completed advanced certifications in Functional Nutrition, Biblical Naturopathy and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition.