5 Ways to Avoid the Flu

How are you faring this flu season? If you’ve managed to dodge the ick that’s going around so far, high five! Here are a few ways that you can make you chances of coasting through flu season unscathed even better and avoid the flu naturally!

Related Reading: Already got the flu? Check out our list of natural flu remedies to help you get better faster!

Since I’m pregnant, I’ve been feeling a little bit pressured to get a flu shot this season, and honestly I’m torn about it. There seems to be mixed evidence that it helps, and since there are so many varieties of flu, you can get the shot and still end up with the flu, if you’re exposed to a strain that the formulators didn’t account for.

Looking for some shot-free ways to help you avoid the flu? There are some non-medical steps you can take to help equip your body to fight those germs!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by findingtheobvious

washing hands

1. Wash your hands like it’s your job.

Our hands are powerful germ transmitters. Someone with the flu touches something, you touch that same something, and then you touch your mouth, nose, face, or eyes, and you’ve just given the virus a leg up into your body. Boo!

Of course, you always wash your hands after you use your bathroom, but to avoid flu you’ll want to add a little more hand-washing to your routine. After a trip to the grocery store, for example, wash those hands before you put your food away. Do the same when you get home from work or a night out.

It’s also a good idea to keep your hands away from your face. Your nose, mouth, and eyes are all easy entry points for flu germs. You don’t have to obsessively wash your hands, but if you’re the type of person that touches your face a lot, you may want to do a little extra hand-washing to protect yourself.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget



2. Take your vitamins.

Vitamina A, C, D, and E all help support your immune system, so make sure you’re getting plenty! Here are the recommended daily allowances for each (for adults):

  • Vitamin A – 900 micrograms
  • Vitamin C – 75-90 micrograms; take an extra 35 micrograms per day if you smoke
  • Vitamin D – 600 IU, but for extra flu protection you might want to up it to 1000 IU
  • Vitamin E - 15 milligrams or 22.4 IU

Of course, you can also get more of these vitamins by adding vitamin-rich foods to your diet. Try orange veggies – like carrots and sweet potatoes – for vitamin A, citrus for vitamin C, and avocados for a vitamin E boost. The only one that’s tricky to get through diet is vitamin D. Click here to read more on vitamin D.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by waferboard

stay back

3. If you can, quarantine!

This can be a tricky one, especially if you work in an office. If your cube-mate or office-mate has the flu, you  might strongly suggest that he head home to rest. Yeah, to rest! If you have your own cube or office, try to hide out there, if the flu is going around on your floor.

At home, you can try to keep the sick away by putting some space between you and your sick spouse or roommate. That doesn’t have to mean avoiding them completely, of course! It just means doing what you can to avoid their germs. Maybe don’t sit right next to them while you watch a movie, and if you’re having supper together, now’s a good time for you to volunteer to do the cooking.

When my husband got sick a few months ago, he slept in the guest room to try to keep the germs off of me, since being pregnant and sick totally sucks. I don’t think we would have done something this extreme if I hadn’t been pregnant, but I do think it helped! I managed to avoid getting his cold.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Rajiv Patel


4. Get plenty of exercise

You knew exercise was good for your heart, but there’s more and more evidence that it supports a healthy immune system, too!

Moderate exercise can help protect you from the flu, but the key here is moderate. Endurance exercise, like distance running, can actually weaken your immune system, especially if your body isn’t conditioned to it.

Related Reading: 7 Ways to Jumpstart Your Workout

If you’re new to exercise, getting started is often the hardest part. It might seem like it’s too expensive to join a gym, or maybe you feel like you just plain don’t have time to fit a workout into your busy schedule. Even 30 minutes a day a few days a week can make a difference in your immune health. Do what you can, and your body will thank you!


5. Cut back on booze.

Too much alcohol can make your immune system less able to fight the flu.

One study looked at how 4-5 drinks a day effects immune health, and it’s probably no surprise that this level of alcohol consumption suppresses immune activity significantly. Of course, 4-5 drinks per day is a lot of boozin’! Like with anything else, it’s all about moderation.

If you want a glass of wine after a tough day, you’re probably not doing anything to harm your immune system, but if you’re a regular drinker, cutting back can make a big difference. Having an occasional drink is fine – in fact, it could even help improve bone health! – but limit yourself to 1-2 drinks, and cut it out completely if you’re feeling run down.

What about you guys? Have you found any ways to avoid getting sick that have been working for you? Share them in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by lowjumpingfrog

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Zack A.
Zack A.about a month ago

Good piece of information , to have more information please visit

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

all good tips in general

Debbie Miller
Debbie false2 years ago

Good info!

Patricia Trillo
Patricia Trillo2 years ago

Garlic and Onion are the best way to kill viruses.

Patricia Trillo
Patricia Trillo2 years ago

I want to share a recipe for the flu.
You need: 2 leaves of aloe
Juice of 1 orange
1 purple onion
Just put it in the blender and smash it. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours and then drink the juice from the surface, every 30 or 40 minutes for 2 or 3 days. I promise that you will be cured with this home remedy. My husband safe his life whit this simple recipe from pneumonia and influenza.
Believe it or not!!

Garnet Jenny Fulton
Past Member 2 years ago

Also remember to have some things (remedies, comfort products) in the home stocked up when a cold does strike so you don't have to use all your energy dragging yourself out to the store to get some and passing the germs along. Keeping oneself warm is a good way to prevent a cold as well.

Leena K.
Leena K.2 years ago

Do not spread your flu around;thanks for these.

Kate S.
Kate S.2 years ago

I second Nancy's comment....STAY HOME IF YOU'RE SICK!

Steve McCrea
Steve McCrea2 years ago

How about getting rest and avoiding excessive emotional stress? Every time I get sick, and I mean EVERY time, I am in some way not taking care of myself or failing to deal with some emotional situation that is affecting me daily. I have been sick enough to miss work about three times in the last 10 years, and I religiously AVOID antibacterial hand washes and wipes.

Another trick I have: the minute I start feeling under the weather, I take the rest of the day off. I rest up, sleep and eat well, and avoid all stress. 9 times out of 10, I am healthy and feeling good by the next day.

We're all exposed to germs every day. Avoiding germs is less important than caring for your own immune system that fights them off. I find that caring for myself physically and emotionally is the best way to stay healthy.

--- Steve

veronika p.
veronika P.2 years ago

So far i've been pretty healthy this winter. I've been washing my hands all the time and using hand sanitizer at work (I work in retail so i'm touching money and products all day). I take a lot of vitamins everyday, drink lots of water and try and eat as much veggies and fruit as I can. Also keeping the house clean helps. Making sure i'm washing handles and knobs often.