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5 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season

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Cold and flu season is here again! No one enjoys being sick, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. You try eating healthy foods and getting lots of vitamin C, but is that enough? How do you remain healthy when everyone around you is coughing and sneezing all over the place? 

There are several ways to minimize your risk of catching a cold or flu. But first, let’s learn the differences between the two.

Differences Between the Flu and a Cold

The flu and the common cold share several symptoms, and it can be very difficult to differentiate between the two, as both are respiratory illnesses. So, what's the differentiator? They’re caused by different viruses.

Generally, the flu has more intense and severe symptoms than a cold, while a cold is generally mild and harmless. If you have a cold, you’ll likely have such symptoms as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat and congestion. You’ll rarely experience anything that can lead to hospitalization. The flu, on the other hand, can lead to serious health complications like fever, chills, sore throat, headache, fatigue, runny nose and muscle and body aches.

5 Ways to Avoid Cold and Flu Viruses

Here are some ways to significantly reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu:

  1. Avoid touching public door handles and railings: These places harbor nasty bacteria. A good wash with soap and water for no less than 20 seconds will do the trick. Another tip is to avoid touching your face. Any contact with your eyes and nose can spread bacteria. You won’t be washing your hands every few minutes, so some sanitizer will be handy.
  2. Build up your immune system with a healthy diet: A diet filled with plenty of vegetables and fruits will help you ward off bacteria and viruses. Be sure to increase your intake of vitamin C. Echinacea, citrus and bell peppers at the first sign of a cold can be very helpful. Try to remain active and avoid alcohol and cigarettes — drinking and smoking impairs the body’s ability to protect itself.
  3. Stay hydrated throughout the day: Drinking a lot of water will help flush toxins from your body. When you have a runny nose and you’re constantly reaching for your handkerchief, remember the importance of staying hydrated. If you’re losing too much fluid, you need to replace it. Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic. For a 150-pound person, that would mean drinking 75 ounces per day. 
  4. Stay in bed if you’re feeling sick: Your body will need plenty of energy to fight off viruses. Doctors recommend getting eight hours of sleep each night. When was the last time you watched your favorite series? Now is the best time to put those sick days to good use. Sit back, relax and enjoy your day in bed.
  5. Avoid anyone who is sick: You increase your odds of catching the cold or flu when you’re close to someone who has the symptoms of the two. Don’t worry about offending anyone. Chances are, the person with the symptoms is concerned about making others sick.

Tips for Treating Cold and Flu Viruses

Here are some deceptively simple tips for treating cold and flu viruses:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids will help thin out mucus. Your best bet is water and fruit juice.
  • Gargle warm water with honey and lemon: If there’s no lemon or honey available, you can use salt. This treatment will help kill bacteria in the throat while soothing a sore throat. You can also use steam to help ease congestion. Simply breathe over a pot filled with boiling water.
  • Take vitamin C supplements: Vitamin C is proven to boost immune health. Orange juice is a good source of it, but you can complement the juice with supplements to ensure you’re getting enough doses to fight off illness.
  • Get lots of rest: While you can go on with daily activities when you're suffering from a cold, it’s very important to get plenty of rest when you have the flu. Make sure you stay in bed to give your body enough time to recover.

Battling Cold and Flu With IV Therapy

We've outlined the tips for preventing and treating the cold and flu, but there’s one more tip we haven’t mentioned: intravenous (IV) therapy. IV therapy does an incredible job at treating cold and flu symptoms. The IV bags contain a blend of essential fluids, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. These elements are included to replenish lost fluids, boost your immune system and get you back to feeling your best again.

If you're worried that you're coming down with a cold or the flu—or if you're already suffering from symptoms—innovative IV therapy from Arizona IV Medics will help you feel better faster. The best part? IV therapy is done right in the comfort of your own home. Contact us now to learn more about our services and book an appointment!

Matt Heistan
Matt Heistan
Matt is the CEO of AZ IV Medics. Matt has over 15 years of experience in the emergency medicine field. Matt attended Westwood High School, Scottsdale Community College, and the University of Maryland where he received a BS in Psychology. Matt is a 10-year USAF veteran and has been an EMT since 1999. After separating from the USAF, Matt was hired by the Peoria AZ Fire Dept. where he has worked as a Firefighter Paramedic for the last 10 years. Matt is a life-long athlete, from college football to powerlifting, to Crossfit, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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