RSS
How to avoid getting sick
7 steps to staying healthy
 
Don't wan to be this person? Avoid this person.
Don't wan to be this person? Avoid this person. (Andre Schuster/Corbis)

Even though spring is officially here, not a day goes by where I don't see someone sniffling or coughing. Here are seven simple tips to keep in mind that will help prevent cold and flu.

1. Wash your hands.
This is something you should be doing a lot. Most of what we do every day involves touch. Consider my local coffee shop, at least two — and often three — people touch that cup before it even gets to me. I'm not a germaphobe, yet if you're only going to do one thing, do this.

2. Don't pick your nose, rub your eyes, or otherwise touch your face.
My mom told me "this is the way germs get in" and she was right. Even with relatively clean hands, odds are there are some germs. One of the easiest ways to transmit virus is through your nose, mouth, and eyes. Keep your hands away. Oh and don't bite your nails.

3. Avoid sick people.
Sick people often have sick germs. Stay away from these people. If you're sick don't go to work. Every office has that person who shows up to "tough-it-out" and everyone secretly hates that they are at work.

4. Avoid the social jet-lag (i.e., sleep).
Not getting enough sleep increases the risk of catching a cold. When you feel like you're starting to get sick do the world a favor and take the day off to rest.

5. Drink plenty of water.
Not juice, water. If you want juice, eat an orange.

6. Pass on the booze.
If your body is fighting a cold or the flu, why would you ask it to do even more. That's like taking the busiest person you know and saying, hey can you do this too? Skip the booze for a few days if you think you're fighting something.

7. Fast
Skip a meal. When you're sick your body does this naturally through lack of appetite. But when you're fighting something, you can choose to do it. This is what animals do when they're fighting an illness or serious infection. Don't skip the water, though.

Farnam Street also feeds your brain every Sunday with Brain Food. Join 34,000 other smart people and read what you've been missing.

More from Farnam Street…

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week