She is on regular exercise, and for her it is not an easy feat. She works in Legal Aid, married with two kids, and squeezing exercise into her weekly routine regularly, regardless of her workload and mommy duties, would earn an occasional pat on the back from her husband of 8 years, Burt. At this time and age when the clock seems to be always on speed dial, taking care of one’s self demands serious commitment, and she has been doing a good job juggling family, work, and exercise without missing a beat. If he were to give her a rating for being his wife, she gets “A” hands-down, as well. “She’s just amazing,” Burt would tell friends.
“I love my family, so I take care of myself.” That’s her mantra; the force that’s drives her in full gear every morning before 6, so she can jog or lift weights. She simply wants to function like a nicely-oiled machine, for her family first; her career, second.
Meet Mary, 48, hospitalized for over a week, due to flu.
How She Got It
She could hardly believe her thermometer when it registered 103 Fahrenheit. She had fever!
Her occasional banter with Burt whose Republican views clash with her Democrat sentiments would cause her stress, but definitely it wasn’t enough to bring her immune system down, she told herself. She practices yoga in keeping her mind tranquil as she believes that a peaceful mind is a catalyst for a healthy body. So, what could have gone wrong?
Then, she remembered she had travelled to another state two weeks prior to getting sick. As she loves meeting people, she was gracious with her handshakes, and never hesitated to hug colleagues she did not meet for years. Maybe, the virus caught her off-guard due to lack of sleep while traveling, or maybe the lack of exercise for a few days compromised her immune system, Whatever it was, flu hit her hard for 10 days. She missed work, her daughter’s “moving up” day, and her husband’s company outing.
The Obnoxious Flu
It’s no coincidence that Hollywood film makers raked in billions of dollars in profit for movies about viruses or bacteria. Those movies were not purely products of a fertile imagination, but a specter of horror that still lingers in the mind. After all, it was just a century ago when the flu pandemic claimed millions of lives: scores of the dead burned in pyres, millions of children became orphans, and mass graves contained nameless bodies in thousands. Such was the nightmare brought upon the world, not too long ago, by the Spanish flu.
We do not wish a repeat. Even modern medicine would not be able to handle it, as the obnoxious flu can mutate easily and send back drug makers to the drawing board. We still hear of people dying from flu every winter, which means regardless of how advanced medicine has become, people can still succumb to the disease.
So, how do we avoid getting sick?
Mary was right. Pump up the body with exercise that boosts the immune system. Nature has provided the body with its built-in weapon against the onslaught of bacteria and viruses, but it needs a little help. And exercise is top on the list.
Here are other ways you can avoid, or eliminate the flu without raking up thousands of dollars in hospital bills:
1. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep compromises your immune system, which is the body’s natural defense against flu.
2. Get regular massage. A good massage detoxifies not just the body, but also the mind. Get a good full body rub down regularly, and you will be amazed at how rejuvenating an experience it is.
3. Drink lots of water. This is a given, considering the body’s natural component, which is 75% water. Water cleanses the body from toxins that overwork the immune system.
4. Check your habits. Do you wash your hands as often as you can? A quick hand wash after a necessary handshake with an infected person, or use of the office bathroom will halt the spread of the virus.
5. Load up on good nutrition. It is basic to good health that the body gets its chief sources of nutrition from vegetables and fruits. It helps to wash vegetables and fruits property before cooking, or before eating them raw.
6. Avoid the crowd. During flu season, it is advisable to avoid crowded places.
Good hygienic practices, a healthy diet, and a good massage can up your chances of staying healthy, regardless of season. Indeed, flu is a health menace, but your immune system has been wonderfully designed to protect your body from it, or when already infected, to recover from it. It just needs your help by responsibly taking charge of what you eat, and what you do.