Posted by IdealVitamins Staff

Spending time with family and friends during the holiday season brings a lot of joy, but it can also expose you a lot of germs. Office parties, family gatherings, kid’s recitals, travel and shopping all include risks of picking up an illness from others.

You don't need to turn into a germaphobe, however, you should consider that nearly everything you touch has likely been touched by someone else and may transmit bacteria to you.

Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize your exposure to germs and combat illnesses like colds and the flu:

Wash your hands, a lot - Keeping your hands clean is crucial. Every time you go shopping or attend a public event you are exposed to the germs of others. By washing your hand or using a hand sanitizer often will help reduce the amount of germs.

Stop touching your face - Washing your hands or applying an alcohol-rub hand cleaner is a great first step, but you can decrease your chances of transmitting whatever virus or bacteria you’ve touched to your body by keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the soft, wet areas where germs can take hold and multiply.

If you’re sick, stay home - When you feel yourself becoming ill, just stay home. There’s no reason to make a lot of other people sick. Whatever you have contracted can easily be spread to coworkers, those on the bus, and anyone else you come in contact with. Powering through being sick is not good for you (it’ll likely just extend the time you’re ill) and it will definitely impact others that come in contact with you.

Take extra caution when traveling - If you’re traveling during the holiday season, follow basic suggestions above to minimize your risk - keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer when you can. But you’ll also need to take extra care and realize that air travel or using public transportation means exposure to many more people and germs. Every seat, pole, counter, surface, etc. that you touch has likely been exposed to a lot of people and germs. By extra vigilant in hand washing.

Don’t share - ‘Tis the season of giving and sharing, but not when it comes to germs. Don’t share utensils, glasses or anything else that could transmit germs. Watch out for bowls of food that everyone has touched, instead go of redibles that require tongs (even better - use your own clean fork to grab food from the buffet).

Strengthen your immune system - Keep your immune system in tip-top shape by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy (antioxidant-rich foods), sticking to your exercise routine and taking some immune boosting supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and antioxidants.

IdealVitamins.com wants you to have a healthy, happy and joyous holiday season.