Whenever the seasons change, there’s so much to look forward to – unless you’re talking about cold and flu season. Thousands of Americans catch the flu virus each year and have to miss work or school for several days. While most are able to recover within a week, the flu can actually be fatal for the elderly, very young infants, or people with compromised immune systems.
There are many things big and small you can do to help avoid the flu, from making lifestyle changes to evaluating your daily habits. Here is our list of the best ways to avoid coming down with the flu this year:
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
- Eat well. Make sure your diet consists of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and unprocessed grains. Good nutrition is one of the best ways to bolster the immune system.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated is important for the healthy functioning of all the organs and tissues in your body. Consuming plenty of purified or filtered water helps flush out toxins and illness-bearing microbes.
- Get regular exercise. Maintaining strength and stamina by staying active is also one of the best things you can do for your immune system, and to feel your best. Exercise helps you increase lymph circulation, sweat out impurities, have more energy, and sleep better.
- Get adequate sleep. People who operate on too little sleep have higher levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, which saps immune system strength. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night in order for the body to recharge and repair itself.
- Practice stress management. Constant stress wears down the immune system. Make reducing stress in your daily life a priority. Make time for yourself so you can decompress, or try a stress management technique like meditation, journaling, tai chi, or yoga.
Make Simple Behaviors a Habit:
- Wash hands frequently. This is a piece of advice you may hear often during cold and flu season, but frequent hand washing significantly cuts down the spread of germs and viruses. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t use soap and water.
- Don’t touch your nose or eyes! Illness-causing bacteria and viruses enter most easily through the nose and eyes. Whatever you do, don’t deliver the flu viruses and other bugs directly into your body by touching your nose and eyes.
- Teach kids how to prevent the spread of germs. Show children how to cut down on the spread of germs with proper hand washing, coughing into their elbows instead of their hands, and not sharing straws or utensils.
- Get your flu shot before you think you’ll need it. It takes the immune system up to eight weeks to generate enough antibodies for the flu shot to be effective at guarding against the flu. You’ll want to get your flu shot before the cold weather really hits.
Now is the time to get flu shots for the whole family at Patient Care Now Urgent Care. The flu shot is the best defense against the flu, and it’s much more effective if it’s administered before flu season begins.
We’re open seven days a week, with convenient late weekday hours. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff of healthcare professionals are always ready and able to administer shots and address all your healthcare needs. No appointment is needed, so you can stop in anytime to resolve your flu shot needs. And for even faster service, check in online to our Fairless Hills urgent care office. Partner with Patient Care Now to stay healthy and happy through all the seasons.