We’re at the peak of flu season. Here are four ways you might be putting yourself at risk without even realizing it . . .
1. Washing your hands incorrectly. Washing your hands is one of the best defenses against the flu . . . but you’ve gotta do it right. That means washing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds or more.
And even though that doesn’t SOUND like a long time, less than half of people actually do it. One way to keep yourself accountable is to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head twice while washing your hands and that should get you close to 20 seconds.
2. Relying on antibacterial hand gel. First, check the ingredients in your hand sanitizer because it should contain 60% to 95% alcohol, ethanol, or isopropanol, to work best. And it doesn’t replace old-fashioned hand-washing, which is always better.
3. Hitting the gym. It’s true that exercising DOES keep your immune system strong against the flu. But the gym is also a great place to pick up viruses, like from the sweaty treadmill, weight benches, and the locker room.
4. Worrying too much. Just worrying about getting sick can weaken your immune system and make you more likely to get sick. So try to keep things in perspective.