- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
8 Steps to Take Now for Flu Season
Through proper exercise, a great diet, proper hygiene, taking medical precautions and being on alert, you will find that you can cut down on the flu germs that are around you! When you cut down the chances of coming into contact with the flu, you can avoid infection.
Flu season is here! The temperatures are dropping throughout the United States, and the days are getting shorter. This means that more people are going to be walking around the crowded streets coughing and sneezing. Each year, the severity of the flu varies from where you are located, the virulence of the strain of the flu in your area and your own immune system. So, how can you ensure that you are not going to fall victim to the flu this year? We have a few steps that can help!
The Flu Vaccine is a Must
Most insurance providers will cover the cost of a flu vaccine. And the side effects are rarely anything more than a sore arm and a low-grade fever. Make sure to get the flu vaccine. It will provide valuable protection against the flu! If you have yet to get this, now is the time to act! If you wait too long, chances are you will have the flu before you are able to get the shot.
Get the Flu Vaccine
Even if the vaccine doesn’t cover all of the strains that are around this year, it will still protect against some of them, making it a worthy investment!
Update Your Purse, Book Bag and Briefcase
Many people carry around an emergency medical kit with them just in case something comes up. This is especially important for those who are doing an extensive amount of traveling. Make sure to include some medications that can bring down a fever that might spike. Furthermore, try to include some throat lozenges, preferably with zinc, that can keep the throat moist and keep the immune system strong. Finally, include some foods or drinks with vitamin C that will boost the immune system as well.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
It is vital to include some antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer with you at work, at home, in the car or when traveling. Pause for a second and think about all of the dirty places the hands go on a daily basis! This is where germs can pass from person to person.
The antibacterial wipes can be used to wipe down anything that people come into contact with as well. These steps can help reduce the rate of germ transmission as well.
Make sure to wash those hands before and after every meal, every trip to the bathroom and when you have been handling items from other people!
Get Enough Sleep
During the flu season, people should try to get to bed at an earlier time. This will increase the amount of sleep that people get on a nightly basis, which is vital to give the immune system the rest and energy it needs to combat the flu. This is especially important when people are traveling because the jet lag can make the sleep situation worse. It is best to get a head start on the early bedtime ritual because it can take a while to get adjusted.
Stick to Your Exercise Routine
It can be tough to keep exercising outdoors when the cold weather arrives; however, the sunshine is important for boosting the amount of vitamin D in the body. Furthermore, having an exercise routine, in general, is important for boosting immune health. Exercise increases the body’s heart rate and enhances the delivery of oxygen and blood to the vital tissues in the body. This provides not only provides oxygen but also the nutrients that the body needs to build the necessary immune cells to fight off invaders, such as the flu. Try to establish an outdoor exercise routine to keep the flu away.
Watch your Diet
Finally, people should make sure that they are eating a healthy diet that is perfect for keeping viruses, such as the flu, at bay. In addition to consuming plenty of vitamin C, try to make sure that zinc and anti-oxidants are well-represented in the diet. These are foods that will boost the immune system and cut down on inflammation that will make people feel energized while also providing protection against the flu. A healthy body starts with a healthy diet that is rich in immune-boosting foods.
Make sure to cut down on the amount of sugar that is consumed on a daily basis. Excess sugar intake can seriously reduce the function of the immune system.
Use Blankets and Pillows from Home
The holiday season is a busy time for travel and many people go on planes to visit friends and family. While there are blankets and pillows that are provided for people when they travel, many people come into contact with these and this is a great way to transmit germs from person to person. Therefore, try to bring your own blanket and pillow whenever possible. These are likely to be substantially cleaner than whatever the airline provides its passengers.
Wear a Mask
If you really want to reduce the chances of getting the flu, consider a mask. If you do end up with the flu, do everyone a favor and wear a surgical mask when going into crowded areas. For those adults who have chronic illnesses or children with weak immune systems, a mask can also be worn during the flu season to cut down on airborne germs making their way into your body.
Fighting the flu is a battle that requires that you pay attention to your surroundings and go about your day aware of the germs that may be lurking around you. Hopefully, with these 8 steps, you can be one of the few who avoids the flu this year!
*Disclaimer: This article provides general information about medicine, health, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.