Prevention hand washing

For most of us, fall and winter means less time outdoors in the fresh air, and more time spent in close quarters with those that we work, play, learn, and live with. It is a great opportunity for cold and flu viruses to work their way from one person to the next. While we all try to stay healthy, it is especially important for individuals with chronic conditions and compromised immune systems to take extra measures to avoid illness.聽For individuals with hemophilia or other bleeding disorders who infuse, it is especially important to pay special attention to hygiene. The infusion site presents an additional portal of entry or exit of viruses and bacteria. To help prevent the spread of germs to and from those around you, here are some simple things you can do to stay well:

1. Wash your hands:聽The single most important thing you can do to help stop the spread of germs is good hand washing. Hand hygiene is critical to interrupting the spread of infectious diseases, such as the common cold, influenza, and gastrointestinal illnesses. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are at least 60% alcohol can be effective.

2. Do not touch:聽Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the most common places for viruses to enter the body.

3. Lay low:聽If you are feeling ill, stay home and limit your contact with others.

4. Flu shots:聽Sudden fever, body aches, sore throat and a dry cough are all symptoms of the flu. Yearly vaccinations offer protection against the flu, and are available for some聽in nasal spray form. See your healthcare provider or hemophilia treatment center to discuss if a flu vaccine is recommended, and which method is right for you.

5. Eat well:聽Maintain a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that provide the body and the immune system with the power it needs to fight off germs and keep you well.聽Remember to聽make at least half of your meal fruits and vegetables.

6. Exercise:聽20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily (such as brisk walking) increases blood flow which helps to boost the immune system and ward off illness.聽Using fitness apps and devices that track physical activity can be great motivators. Download HFA’s FREE Get in Gear app. It can keep track of all of your physical activities, allow you to share your progress with friends on Facebook and rewards your efforts with achievement badges.

7. Go to bed:聽Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night and children need 8 or more. The body re-energizes and repairs itself while sleeping. Getting enough rest is a vital part of staying well.

8. Be happy:聽The hormones the body releases when stressed can lower the body鈥檚 resistance to fight off germs. Identify the sources of stress in your life and find ways to reduce them.

Incorporating these simple measures into your life will help keep you on the path to wellness and will make you victorious in the 鈥渂attle of the bugs!鈥

Visit:聽HFA’s FitFactor pages聽for more great information on physical activity, nutrition, health & wellness.

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