It's been said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and some of the industry's biggest names seem to take that old adage to heart. More than one attendee of last night's opening dinner for the WWD CEO Summit told us that staying active is the best way to stave off sickness.
"I exercise a lot because I like to do Iron Man triathlons," Elettra Wiedemann said, "so I feel like my immune system is generally kind of boosted by all the exercise."
When we asked Theory CEO Andrew Rosen how he stays healthy, he said simply, "I go to the gym every day."
What other methods do fashion people use to stay healthy — or get well again — when cold and flu season strikes? The answers here in the gallery.
Photo courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency
The workplace can be a party for germs. Protect yourself and your co-workers by preventing some of the airborne illnesses that go around. Here are three quick fixes you can make today for better health, immunity, and even concentration for the workweek.
Get a plant or succulent for your desk top: Although they're also pretty to look at, plants help with air quality. Potted plants have been used for their ability to elevate mood and concentration and reverse indoor pollution. Scientific research has even been able to prove these live desk ornaments are better air regulators than a mechanical humidifier. Go for Bamboo Palm, Chrysanthemums, or Peace Lillies for the full effect.
Open a window if you can: It's no surprise that good ventilation decreases airborne infections. Even hospitals are brushing the dust off their window sills to let in the fresh air. While sanitizing your space can be beneficial to fighting germs, simply opening a window may be even more beneficial, and less costly. Cleaning a surface in excess can fight even the good microbes in an area, while opening your window will simply ward off the bad ones by circling in fresh air.
Keep an antibacterial gel at your desk: The workspace is full of handshaking, touching elevator keys, and sharing doorknobs, so washing your hands is crucial. By keeping an alcohol-based sanitizing gel at your desk, you can make sure you keep the germs off without having to run to the restroom after every encounter. It also serves as a handy cleaner for others to use while they visit your side of the office.
Staying healthy is tough enough, especially at the height of cold and flu season. But when heading out for holiday travel, the immune system needs to have the best support possible. I chatted with naturopath practitioner Dr. Holly Lucille about the important steps we should all take to keep germs at bay, and our bodies at their best.
Take Preventative Measures
Dr. Lucille's first piece of advice for cold and flu season? Don't get sick. By taking healthy precautions now, you're putting your body in the best position to stay healthy later. While vitamin C is "a sort of pedestrian vitamin that doesn’t have a lot of crazy bells, whistles, or claims," study after study has shown that it works. As a general recommendation, Dr. Lucille has her patients increase their vitamin C intake to 500 mg, twice daily. While Dr. Lucille believes in the power of cultured foods, she's also a proponent of taking a high-quality probiotic supplement since "89 percent of our immune system is driven by having good microflora in your gut."
Airplane travel and jet lag can wreak havoc on our systems. "People might look at you like you have the Bubonic plague," but if you're going to fly with a compromised immune system during cold and flu season, Dr. Lucille suggests wearing a surgical mask. Although it may seem a little silly, she said that those masks successfully "offer protection from people around you." If the mask is too much, staying hydrated is key to helping your body fight off germs in the recycled air. Dr. Lucille also explained that "the only time she ever uses melatonin is if someone is flying over time zones . . . small doses, even a milligram, can really help establish normal sleep patterns earlier."
Keep reading for one more of Dr. Lucille's tips to stay healthy this holiday season.
Though such decisions are left to individual districts, would you support such a move?
LilSugar: Why did you choose to get involved in the Faces of Influenza campaign?
Sarah Chalke: I am a huge believer in the flu vaccine. I have had it every year and have never had the flu. My whole family gets it. I come from a long line of vaccinated Canadians, and so Charlie got a flu shot for the first time when he was 6 months old. It was always important to me and is even more important to me now, because the most important thing to me is keeping that lil nugget healthy and keeping myself healthy. I work with like 120 people and expose myself to so much, so it always has been important to me, and now even more so.
LilSugar: What is one of the biggest misconceptions about the flu?
SC: People don't always recognize how serious it can be, that there can be some serious complications from the flu and even death. People believe they'll be down for a few days and then be fine, and that's just not the case.
LilSugar: If you could tell families just one thing they needed to know about the flu shot, what would it be?
SC: If you're vaccinating your kid for the first time and they're between the ages of 6 months old and 8 years old, you need to give them two doses.
LilSugar: No one enjoys getting shots — parents or kids. How do you handle it when your son gets shots?
SC: Charlie actually came with me to get mine. It's not initially what I intended, but it ended up timing out that way and it ended up being great, because he saw that I got one too. [I said,] "You know what, buddy, I'm making my body stronger and it's just going to take two seconds, and then I'm going to be all done and my body's going to be so strong." When we went to go get his, I told him the same thing, and he said, "To make my body stronger!" He's a little guy and cried for two seconds and that's it. It's so quick and it's so easy and we bring in a little game or his favorite movie (Cars). Distraction and a quick treat and you're done!
The seasons are changing, and with that we're welcoming cold and flu season to the mix. Even if you're able to stay healthy, your roommate might not be so lucky. Airborne viruses are quick to both catch and spread, so make sure to protect yourself at home. You might share a living room, but you shouldn't have to share a cold.
- Be a clean machine: Germs love to live on doorknobs and light switches. They also spend a lot of time on kitchen counters. These areas are essential to clean in order to get rid of bacteria. And water isn't enough! Use bleach or another antibacterial cleaner to keep germs at bay. Clorox wipes are a zero-hassle way to clean up quick without resenting your roommate.
- Display hand sanitizer wisely: Think about where you might need it, and that's exactly where you should put it. On bathroom sinks, in kitchens, and by the front door are all places you could use a sanitation burst. Using it before or after entering these spots will keep germs down to a minimum.
- Keep Kleenex handy: The more tissue is available, the less likely your roommate is to wipe germs on her hands, which later travel to furniture you both share. If you set up a box in common areas, such as on a coffee table in the living room, it will prompt the use of disposable tissues versus their sweater or hand.
See more tips for staying healthy after the break!
Washing your hands often and coughing into your elbow are common ways to prevent the spread of germs, but here are some other ways that aren't as mainstream. Keep reading to find out what they are and tell me if you'd go this far to avoid getting sick.
It starts with a few sniffles, a scratchy throat, or a nagging cough. Many times you don't think twice about it, either because you're too busy or you just hope it goes away soon. As soon as those telltale signs of an oncoming cold appear, follow these tips to encourage a speedy recovery.
- Take zinc: When the sniffles strike, take zinc; it's been proven to shorten the life span of colds, as well as make symptoms less severe. The studies found that zinc only works when taken as soon as your cold symptoms begin, so hit the cold aisle as soon as you notice any rundown feelings.
- Make rest a priority: You don't have to quarantine yourself, but you do have to rest. If you feel a cold coming on, don't just ignore it; revamp your schedule so your day includes plenty of rest. Whether that means canceling evening plans or foregoing the DVR for an earlier bedtime, make rest a priority.
- Drink water and tea: Staying hydrated should be your top priority, but that doesn't mean you should reach for sugary sodas or dehydrating cocktails. Keep your water bottle full and drink some warming tea (try our recipes for cold-fighting ginger tea and sage tea for a cough) to hydrate and feel better.
Besides these three things, don't forget to exercise regularly (but not if you're too sick!); it helps build your immunity so you can cut colds short or prevent them from happening in the first place.
If you work in an office full of people, your chances of coming in contact with germs are that much higher. Arm yourself against colds, the flu, and stomach bugs with these essential tips.
- Wash hands often and keep hand sanitizer on your desk.
- Once a week disinfect the things you touch regularly including your keyboard, mouse, phone, pens, stapler, scissors, and even the outside of your reusable water bottle.
- Avoid touching doorknobs, handles on bathroom stalls and faucets, the water cooler, coffee maker, and other commonly used work items. If you can't help it, be sure to wash your hands afterward.
Keep reading for five more ways to prevent getting sick at your job.