If you live in the northern hemisphere like we do, you might have felt a bit of a chill in the air in recent weeks. Yes, we’re talking about fall, but we’re also talking about another season: flu season.
While some may get a cold or experience a mild version of the flu, others might come down with more severe cases which can lead to hospitalization, or worse, death. Therefore, flu prevention is a personal responsibility that can help you and the people around you stay healthy throughout the coming months.
We’ve rounded up a few tips to stay healthy during flu season.
Please note: The following is not a substitute for medical advice. Make sure to see your medical professional if you are experiencing flu symptoms.
1. Get the flu vaccine.
While some people choose to get the seasonal flu vaccine and others do not, the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated against it, according to the CDC. Depending on where you live, the flu vaccine may be available at your doctor’s office, or the nearest health center or pharmacy. The flu vaccine is updated every year to fight the latest strains of the virus, so it is best to get vaccinated annually.
2. Wash your hands and keep your surroundings clean.
There are many places where we can come into contact with the flu virus throughout our routines, from our daily commute, to the workplace, the grocery store, and everywhere in between. That’s why washing your hands is a great way to reduce your risk of getting sick, or spreading the flu virus. WebMD recommends washing your hands with soap while singing “Happy Birthday” twice to keep the germs at bay. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, especially in common and high-traffic areas, is also an effective way to help everyone stay healthy during flu season.3. Keep up with healthy habits.
A proper diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep all contribute to a strong immune system, according to Harvard Medical School. When we adopt a healthy lifestyle, our overall health improves, and that includes our immune system. You can also boost your immune system with vitamins and nutrients. While many might reach for Vitamin C at this time because its well-known link to the reduction of cold symptoms, a global study also confirmed that Vitamin D can help protect against colds and flu. While we can get Vitamin D from the sun, reduced sunshine this time of year can make it difficult to get enough. Solves Strips® Vitamin D3 has 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 and is a convenient way to get your recommended daily intake.
4. If you do get sick, be mindful of others.
Coughing and sneezing releases germs into the air. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, but not with bare hands! Try to use a tissue if you can, but if there is not one nearby, try to cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, as these areas are less likely to come into contact with others. And of course, remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. If possible, stay home and take time to recover to prevent spreading the flu to others.
Stay safe out there this flu season!