Top Tips for Preventing the Flu This Winter Season

Top Tips for Preventing the Flu This Winter Season As fall approaches, flu season is about to get in full swing. Flu is a dreaded disease, which often leads its victims to be bedridden for days at a time and in severe cases can even result in hospitalization. Flu can be contracted by anyone but particularly vulnerable victims are young children, the elderly, pregnant women, healthcare workers and people that are undergoing medical treatment that weakens their immune system, such as chemotherapy. According to flu. gov common flu symptoms include: A 100°F fever or higher/feeling feverish A cough or sore throat A stuffy or runny nose Headaches or body aches Chills Fatigue Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting Preventing the flu isn’t always possible, but there are some simple steps you can take to decrease your chances of catching it this year. Don’t let the flu ruin your fall or winter, take these preventive actions to help you avoid it: Wash Your Hands This might seem obvious advice, but you may not be washing or sanitizing your hands as much as you should be. Washing or sanitizing your hands shouldn’t just be reserved for bathroom trips, as dangerous flu germs could be anywhere. Be especially conscious of keeping your hands clean when you’re out and about in public spaces, and particularly on public transport and when using a shopping cart. Keep Your Living and Work Space Clean Just as with your hands, it’s important to keep your living and work space as clean as possible. Aim to clean your living surfaces regularly and change your bed sheets on a consistent basis. This will help get rid of germs that could have found their way into your house. Likewise keep your work environment clean. It’s important to keep your keyboard, phone and mouse well sanitized, especially when you consider how much you’re in contact with them. Get a Flu Shot You may want to get a flu shot this year. Flu shots can make you immune from certain flu strains, and can usually be administered at your local pharmacy for a relatively small fee. Just bear in mind that a flu shot doesn’t make you immune to every flu strain out there, so you still could potentially contract some kind of flu this year even with a shot. Eat Healthily A healthy diet doesn’t just benefit your waistline, it also helps you build up a strong immune system that can help block illnesses such as the flu. Although it’s tempting to binge on yummy holiday foods during the fall and winter, try to still eat healthy in between major holidays. Aim to get your five fruit and veggies each day and avoid sugary sodas and heavily processed foods. Take Vitamins You can give your immune system an extra boost by taking vitamins daily. This will insure that you get the vitamins you need to combat the flu, even if you don’t always eat as healthily as you should. Particularly great vitamins to take to help strengthen your immune system are vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc or you could just stick with a daily multivitamin. Have Flu Medicine at the Ready As soon as you can feel the early stages and symptoms of flu developing, make sure you have flu medicine that you can take immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to stop a flu virus from getting out of hand and in turn avoid the need for taking excessive days off of work or having to be hospitalized. Stock up your medicine well in advance of flu season, as you know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay Warm Exposing yourself to cold and damp weather can lead to developing colds and even the flu, so always go out into the elements well wrapped up. Be especially aware of this when you’re drinking alcohol, as alcohol has the ability to make you feel much warmer than you actually are. If you live in a particularly cold climate, always leave the house prepared for chilly weather. Likewise if you live somewhere that’s very wet, always travel with an umbrella in flu season. Drink Plenty of Water Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, as staying hydrated is a key component to preventing colds and the flu. Note that sodas and coffees aren’t particularly hydrating, so it’s best to mainly stick with water around this time of year. If you forget to drink often, carry a 2 liter bottle of water with you when you’re out and about or to work and make sure that you’ve drunk the entire bottle by the end of the day. Get a Good’s Night Sleep Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you feel run down, it can also weaken your immune system. The ideal sleep time for most adults is 8 hours a night, but if this simply doesn’t fit into your schedule aim to get at least 6 hours of sleep. You’ll likely be surprised at just how much energized and healthy you feel after a good night’s sleep. Use the above flu season tips to stay healthy. If you do begin to experience flu like symptoms, contact your doctor straight away.

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