Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
FOOD & FITNESS / AUG. 18, 2014
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How to Avoid Getting Sick At Work

I’m sure you’ve experienced the work flu once before. One person gets sick and then it seems like everyone is coughing up a storm. In closed spaces, germs thrive and spread. Many of us would rather spend our days off having fun, not sweating out the flu.

A recent study found that 84% of adults have gone to work sick, and an alarming 45% never attempt to warn anyone that they’re under the weather. You can see why sickness spreads like fire within the workplace. It’s important to keep yourself healthy, as well as prevent the spreading of germs and bacteria. The following tips will help you stay healthy, productive, and out of bed. 

Preventative Measures to Avoid Becoming Sick At Work

Just because you’re exposed to sick people, does not mean that you will get sick. You need to take proper preventative measures, ensuring your health is maintained.

 Keep Your Immune System Up

Our immune system is the best possible defence we have. You need to treat your immune system with the care it needs. When our immune system is functioning normally, it detects foreigns pathogens and destroys them.

The viruses that spread around the office can be stopped by a healthy immune system. Although you may feel healthy, you’re most likely not doing all you can to prevent illness. The following will help you build a strong immune system, supporting your best defence:

  • Get all the required nutrients your body needs. This means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Your plate should be half fruit and/or vegetables at any given meal. The other half should be lean meat and whole grains. Get involved in your diet, understanding the importance of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Exercise at least half hour a day. This doesn’t need to be high demand exercise, it can be a long walk you take each night. Going to the gym three times a week is a great start. If you’re looking for something to lower stress levels, look into yoga or another form of calming exercise.
  • Manage your stress levels because prolonged stress is hard on your immune system. Stress management is attainable. Simply take more time for yourself, doing the things you love to do. Get enough sleep, as this is essential for your immune function. As well, focus on various relaxation techniques.

 Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for life, we all know that. We all know this, yet majority of people do not drink enough water. Cans of pop do not count as water, sorry. Drinking water does so much for us, including preventing sickness. You should be drinking a minimum of 1.5 to 2 litres per day.

Drinking plenty of water helps regulate temperature, protects our spinal cord, improves brain function, keeps our joints cushioned, but most importantly; water helps to excrete waste through urine and sweating, allowing you to get rid of toxins. Basically, it helps to keep your body in the best shape possible. When your body is working efficiently, sickness is less prone to sneak in.

Keep water with you at all times, sipping away throughout the day. When you wake up for work, a glass of water is the first thing you should provide your body with. It is actually healthiest to drink water approximately 45-60 minutes before you eat. You should also drink a substantial amount an hour or so after you eat. This helps aid digestion, giving you higher energy levels. Water is essential for every system within our body, make sure you get enough.

 Keep Clean

You don’t need to wash your hands after everything you touch, that’s not practical. However, you should be washing your hands during key moments throughout the day. For example, when you’re about to eat, washing your hands makes sense. You have been touching many common items throughout the day, which are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Some of the most common items are faucets, door handles, microwave and refrigerator handles, break room items like magazines, and more. You can see how fast germs are passed on when you think about these common items.

When you wash your hands, wash for a good 15-20 seconds. I know you can get tired and use your hand as a resting post, but try and limit the amount of times you touch your face. Rubbing your eyes and biting your nails, are classic examples of instances that give germs access to your body. Once these germs are inside your body, this can compromise your immune system.

Be cautious of hand sanitizers as they’re not a lifeline. Many people religiously use hand sanitizer and it’s not as beneficial as one may think. Triclosan for example, is a chemical that kills bacteria. In turn, it is making bacteria more resistant to treatment. There are also various other chemicals that are linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, skin irritation, immunotoxicity, and more. If you do not need to expose yourself to chemicals, then don’t. It’s as simple as that.

Make Your Body More Alkaline

Our bodies have a pH level that is dependant on the amount of alkalinity and acidity present. A pH level of 7.4 is ideal as this is slightly alkaline. When our bodies are too acidic, we expose ourselves to possible ailments.

The pH itself does not necessarily shift, but an acidic lifestyle is very hard on your body. When you eat highly acidic foods, don’t exercise, smoke, and eat too many sweets; our bodies need to work extremely hard to maintain that ideal pH.

Our body will begin drawing alkaline minerals out of our bones and organs in order to maintain a more alkaline pH. Obesity is a direct result of a highly acidic lifestyle. When the body is acidic, it clings onto fat. It binds acids in order to protect vital organs. Once you start to alkalise your diet, you will begin to release both fats and toxins through detoxification.

Our pH is directly related to the amount of oxygen our blood can absorb. When we are at an ideal pH, our blood is in balance. If our blood can not properly absorb oxygen, that is when we get sick. We’re too acidic based on stress, the food we eat, and the toxins we’re exposed to.

In order to improve alkalinity, consume the following and help yourself heal:

  • Vegetables, especially raw leafy greens
  • Fresh herbs and spices (e.g. basil, cayenne, and ginger)
  • Wheat grass
  • Fruits
  • Sprouts (e.g. broccoli, alfalfa, etc.)

Use Common Sense

If the cold and flu are going around, stay away from those that are sick. Many people may not know that they’re sick yet, so avoid hugging and shaking everyone’s hand. If you feel as though you’re getting sick, stay home. You need to focus on targeting the early stages, making a fast recovery.

The key is drinking a lot of water and herbal tea, consuming high levels of vitamin C, and getting plenty of rest. If you’re feeling ill, you should not be pushing yourself. Not only will you make yourself worse by going to work, you could infect others.  

No one likes to be sick, so do everything you can to stay healthy. If you take care of yourself, your body will take care of you in return. Not only will you be sick less often, but you’ll have more energy and feel much better overall. 

 

Photo credit: tranchis Flu Mask

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