GAA-Blog-SnifflesandFlu-031914

March 20 may bring the first day of spring, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to put the tissues away.

Just because the winter is over, doesn’t mean that you are done with the sniffles. The seasonal influenza season generally runs through April, and colds can make you miserable just when you begin to feel like spring is in the air.

How do you steer clear of a spring cold? While there’s no foolproof way to protect yourself from all the germs, these tips may help you ward off a nasty bug:

Wash your hands. Soap and water and/or a liquid hand sanitizer can help you avoid picking up germs from door handles, shopping carts or shaking hands.

Go to bed on time. When you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, your body is better equipped to combat a cold.

Get your flu shot. It’s not too late to get your influenza vaccination today to help prevent a spring or summer bout with the flu.

Eat better. Fresh fruits and vegetables help your immune system, while foods high in sugar make your immune system more sluggish.

Keep your hands away. Germs live under your fingernails, so keep them away from your mouth. In general, touching your eyes and face makes you more likely to put germs into your system.

Drink water. Staying hydrated helps flush the impurities out of the body and lets your body use food more efficiently.

Keep moving. Exercise helps increase your metabolism and boosts your body’s ability to fight off the germs.

Wipe things down. Any surface that comes into contact with germs regularly should be disinfected: phones, computer keyboards, and even your purse. Consider carrying your own pen to use at store checkouts.

Stay calm. Studies have shown that people who are experiencing emotional stress have weaker immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold.