TODAY   |  December 04, 2013

Flee from the flu with these everyday tips

Sometimes working out at the gym can actually be bad for you, if you overdo it. Dr. Roshini Raj breaks down some of the surprising ways we can get sick, even when performing everyday activities.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we all try to avoid getting the flu. what if we told you our daily habits could be putting us at risk.

>> the editors at health magazine put together a surprising list. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> so a lot of us have gotten our flu shots by now.

>> hopefully.

>> but this goes beyond the flu shot , really. you have to prepare in other different ways.

>> absolutely. this is the season that's upon us . even if you're thinking you're doing everything right you may not be. there's certain habits we're doing that might not be so great. so first one, antibacterial soaps or sanitizers or gels, these are everywhere. put it's not a substitute for hand washing . good old fashioned soap and water can remove the bacteria and viruss from your hands more effectively. if you don't have access to the water, but you really want to go back to the soap and water. they don't kill some viruss and people aren't even using the sanitizers correctly. you have to rub it vigorously and wait until it dries. they take a little bit and go like this.

>> they're not all created equal.

>> they're not. you want to look at the alcohol content . you need at least 60%. look for those ingredients. 60% is the magic number .

>> nothing beats good old hand washing .

>> studies have shown many people don't wash their hands. but even if they are washing, many people are not washing long enough. so 20 seconds is a good rule of thumb . we have kids here. the wheels on the bus song. if you want to do two versus. that will get you about 20 seconds there. scrubbing, we learned in medical school how to really get in there. there you go.

>> or sing i will survive.

>> there you go.

>> get really into it.

>> the wheels on the bus go around and around.

>> you could be putting yourself at risk.

>> regular exercise is great for your body and good for your immune system but if you're overdoing it and not hydrating popular you could depress your immune system and be more prone to get an infection. if you're a regular exerciser keep doing it but if you're just starting out, start at a reasonable pace. 30 minutes , five to seven times a week is good. you don't want to go crazy, especially nit wintertime and go too far if you're having weakness, dizziness, muscle aches, you need to slow down a little bit and get a lot of rest and sleep that helps the immune system .

>> and smoking, if there's one other reason to quit, this is it as well.

>> particularly when we talk about viruss , cold and flu, we have hair-like projections. this is what helps sweep out the germs and clear our lungs as well as our nasal passages. smoking decreases the silia. they are weaker and not able to do their job. one more reason to quick.

>> people said i went from hot to cold. that's what got me sick.

>> not true.

>> people are like now we have the heat on. have the ac on. not really true. the reason why we get a lot more cold and flus during the winter is because we're indoors.

>> close contacts with lots of germs.

>> germy friends. that's right.