Healthy winter habits to stay healthy

(Family Features) Another cough and cold season calls for healthy preparation, and while there may not be a foolproof plan for escaping pesky germs, taking preventative steps and practicing self-care can help protect your health.

You can catch a cold or flu at any time of the year, but they seem to be more common in the cooler months.

“As much as we would love for a quick cure for the common cold, unfortunately there is none,” said Dr. Ian C. Smith. “However, there are many options a person can try to relieve cold and flu symptoms, including over-the-counter medications. These medications can provide quick and much-needed relief.

Reduce your chances of getting seriously ill this cold season by following these tips from the experts at Mucinex:

Make hand washing a priority. Preventive measures such as frequent hand washing can greatly reduce your chances of getting sick. In fact, handwashing is such a powerful germ killer that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compares it to a DIY vaccine. Wash regularly with soap and water for about 20 seconds, especially when handling food, caring for someone who is sick, or after using the toilet.

Make holistic health a lifestyle. Adopting healthy daily habits means your body is in a better position to fight off potential attacks from germs and fight off illness more effectively if you do get sick. A well-balanced diet that includes moderate portions of each of the major food groups can help make sure you’re getting the food and nutrients your body needs. Staying physically active can help promote a stronger immune system. Getting enough sleep and making sure you drink enough water can also ensure your body is ready for whatever the season brings.

Stock up on the necessary supplies. If you do get sick, the best place for you is at home, where you can take care of your health. That means keeping essentials on hand, like over-the-counter medications to treat uncomfortable cold and flu symptoms. Be sure to check last year’s leftovers as some may be expired. A shopping list to combat common cold and flu symptoms should include pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, antihistamines, throat lozenges and cough suppressants, as well as plenty of facial tissue, a working thermometer, a humidifier, and more. Also, restock your hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaners and sprays to keep family members in your home safe.

Relieve unpleasant symptoms. When you’re down, treating your symptoms gives you a reprieve and allows your body to rest so you can get back to feeling better. Coughing is a common cold symptom, and relieving chest congestion that causes you to cough frequently can go a long way. An option like Mucinex Extended Release Bilayer Tablets, the #1 pharmacist-recommended expectorant, is clinically proven to relieve chest congestion and thin and loosen mucus to make your cough more productive for up to 12 hours. If symptoms persist, contact your healthcare professional.

Do your part to prevent the spread of germs. If you do get sick, know that you can take steps to protect those around you. Simple actions like covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and using your elbow if you don’t have a tissue can be effective in preventing the spread of germs. It’s also important to wash your hands well and keep your distance from others to prevent spreading your illness.

Find more tips to prevent illness and protect yourself this cough and cold season at Mucinex.com.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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