A NEW YEAR, A CLEAN SLATE
A clean slate, but not always a clean environment. You see a co-worker coughing and hacking and then grab the coffee pot to get a refill. You really needed that second cup of coffee, but wonder now if it is worth the risk of getting sick as well. When someone is sick in an office, it takes only four hours for surfaces like coffeepot handles, copy machine buttons and the fridge door to show traces of infectious virus. Here are some tips that work for others.
EAT AND DRINK RIGHT
“When I am on trips, I don’t drink alcohol. It interferes with sleep quality, and I’m much more likely to get sick when I am sleep deprived. I’ve also read that nightcaps disrupt REM sleep, which is the most restorative part of sleep.” Kim M, flight attendant.
“I drink hot black or green tea with lemon and honey. Drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia- the hair follicles in the nose- to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial.” M. Grossan, M.D., ear nose and throat specialist.
GET A PROTEIN FIX
“Researchers show that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. So I make sure to get protein-rich foods throughout the day, especially fish, eggs and yogurt.” D. Kalman, PhD, RD, director of nutrition and clinical trials at Miami Research Associates.
Water, that is. Drink water constantly to flush toxins out through the lymph system,helping to clean your body from the inside. Water also helps to help your skin shine, gives you energy and helps you to lose weight. Try drinking one glass of water before every meal. Not only will it aid in digestion, but it will fill you up faster.
DON’T TALK DIRTY
Like most people, you keep your cell phone with you at all times. During the day, you probably set it on counters or use it in between opening doors, pushing elevator buttons and shaking hands. Clean your phone with a disinfecting wipe to cut back on the germs that get near your face and mouth.
PUT UP YOUR DEFENSES
Breathe out. “When I am walking past another person and he is sneezing or coughing, I gently breathe out until I’m beyond the 6 to 10 foot zone around him. This keeps me from inhaling the air he just contaminated.” S. Broumand, MD in New York City
Don’t forget your flu shot! It may not prevent you from getting the flu, but it will decrease the severity and the chances of you needing to be hospitalized.
BEFORE A STORM HITS:
Fill jugs ¾ full and freeze. This will help keep your freezer cool without as much energy use and if the power goes out, these will help keep it colder longer. You could also use these jugs as an emergency water supply.
Make sure you have a land line phone in case you have lost power to your portable phones. Have a back-up energy supply to charge your cell phone. You can purchase a radio that doubles as a flashlight and can re-charge your cellular device all with the turn of a crank or battery power.
Keep plenty of batteries of various sizes for flashlights, alarm clocks, etc.
Lower the thermostat on the refrigerator. If the power goes out, this will help your food stay as cool as possible, for as long as possible.
If using a generator, NEVER connect it to your home’s electrical system, which can endanger you, your neighbor’s and utility workers. Connect appliances directly to the generator with properly sized power cords. Make sure the generator is grounded. Follow the generator manufacturer’s recommendations for safe use. If you are interested in having your generator hooked up to your home, contact an electrician for the correct size generator and connection.
As always, make sure you have a properly working smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home.
Create a “storm tool kit” and have the following supplies on hand: flashlights and extra batteries, a portable battery operated radio, a first aid kit, water purification tablets, emergency food and water, a manual can opener, essential medication, cash and credit cards.
Don’t forget your pet’s needs in your preparation.