Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

Published: January 24, 2018

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, recent news stories have been warning us that this season’s flu may be more deadly than most.  Any advice on how to avoid becoming one of the statistics?

A:  Speaking as one who has already experienced the unpleasantness of this current flu — despite having gotten my flu shot – I can share some of the tips I should have paid more attention to.  The online Money Talks News listed the following:

  • GET THAT FLU SHOT! I’m told my recent illness would have been worse, and likely lasted longer, if I had not had my flu shot.  If your health insurance does not cover it, the cost is usually $20-$40 – and I can tell you that’s a worthwhile investment, to avoid the misery!  The article by Melissa Neiman says some places are offering “bonuses” for getting the shots at their stores:  Target gives a $5 coupon; CVS offers $5 off the next purchase of $25, and Safeway offers 10% off of groceries purchased that day.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY (AND OFTEN). The article says you should lather up for at least 20 seconds, which the author claims is how long it takes to sing or hum “Happy Birthday.” (Mr. Pedometer does not recommend singing aloud in public restrooms  (-;  )
  • AVOID TOUCHING YOUR NOSE OR EYES. This might not be as easy as it sounds. A 2012 survey observed that people touched surfaces in public places an average of 3.3 times per hour…and they touched their faces 3.6 times per hour.
  • GET MORE SLEEP. This may have been Mr. Pedometer’s  downfall since I was keeping long hours at multiple business conferences before becoming ill. It turns out that sleep deprivation can weaken one’s immune system.
  • EXERCISE REGULARLY. Those who manage 2.5 hours of exercise per week reduce their chances of getting the flu by 10%.  (Walking on Saturday mornings is a great start!)

I sincerely hope that none of our readers will experience the flu that is going around.  Take it from me:  it’s no fun!