Boost Your Immune System – Practice Prevention

Wash Your Hands

Protect yourself from germs. Wash your hands for 20 seconds after they have come into contact with other individuals or items in public places such as shopping carts, doors, the cashier’s pen, and countertops.

Wash your hands before and after tending to someone who is sick and before and after treating a wound or cut.

Always wash your hands before preparing or eating food. Wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.

Wash your hands after handling garbage.

Carry an alcohol-based product with you to clean your hands when soap is not available. These products are fast acting and significantly reduce the number of germs on your skin.

Wash your hands after changing diapers and after using rest rooms and bathrooms or assisting others who have used these facilities. When you use a public restroom, dry your hands with a paper towel, and use the paper towel to turn off the faucet. Use a paper towel to open the restroom door and discard the paper towel in a trash receptacle outside of the restroom.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds each time you return home and use a scrubbing action to wash germs away.

Protect Children

Place a blanket or plastic bags over the bar in the shopping cart to protect your children from germs.

Wash your children’s hands often.

Wash toys often, especially if children have played with the toys when they were sick.

Protect Yourself and Others

Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze to protect others from getting sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

Get a flu shot every year. If you have a chronic illness or you are age 65 or over, get a pneumococcal shot every year.

Make sure you are up to date with your immunizations.

Manage Your Stress

Balance your home, personal life and work. If you feel stressed, take deep breaths and try to relax. Do not over commit and learn to say “no.” Give meditation a try to help prevent or treat conditions such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety disorders.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, try quitting. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Ask your healthcare provider about professional counseling or a prescription drug or patch, or inhaler to help you quit smoking.

Nurture Your Immune System

Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts that are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. Increase consumption of these foods to decrease your risk of cancer and help prevent stroke and heart disease. Boost your antioxidant power with oranges, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, prunes, dark raisins, red grapes, cherries, and plums.

Set out bowls of fresh fruit instead of sweet treats.

Take multiple vitamin-mineral supplements.

Exercise!

Exercise! Even small amounts of physical activity stimulates your immune system and helps ward off stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and other conditions.

Live, Laugh, Love

Laughter is one of the best whole-body exercises which increases your oxygen level, relieves stress and anxiety, helps improve alertness, and eases muscle tension. Develop a few close friendships.

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