Ah, fall. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are cooling, and the dreaded cold and flu season is right around the corner! Peaking between December and February, each flu season can be unpredictable, so we have compiled a list of best practices for you and those you live and work with to remain healthy as we navigate the 2022-2023 season.
Consider getting the influenza (flu) vaccine.
According to an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. In fact, it has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with the flu by 40 - 60%. Individuals 6 months and older are recommended to get the flu vaccine every year.
Unsure if the influenza vaccine is for you? Talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional to form a plan of action today! And remember, getting vaccinated not only helps you, but also helps to protect those around you as well.
Stay home when you are sick.
It’s as easy as it sounds: if you feel sick, stay home! Don’t try to push through the sickness – listen to your body so you can rest up and get better. And this doesn’t just mean staying home from work or school. Stay home from the grocery store, skip the gym, and limit any interaction with people (indoors and out) as much as possible. Additionally, keep your distance from other sick people to minimize the spread.
Wash your hands.
Germs are everywhere! They are on everything we touch and interact with. Washing your hands frequently lowers your risk of getting a cold or the flu and is the first and best defense to protect yourself from germs. Scrub for at least 20 seconds to wash those germs right down the drain!
Keep your space clean.
Remember that thing we said about germs being everywhere? Yeah, well we weren’t lying. It is important to clean and disinfect surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom countertops, door handles, phones, and other high-touch areas.
Oh, and don’t neglect your laundry. Clothes, towels, and bedding can all be spreaders of germs too so wash those items frequently!
Stay well rested.
It seems simple and silly, but it’s true! Getting quality sleep on a nightly basis is important in keeping your immune system strong and fighting off viruses. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night!
Treat your body right.
Treating your body right is important year-round, but especially during the cold months. By maintaining a healthy diet, you can help lower your chances of getting sick in the winter. Getting the proper nutrients can strengthen your immune system which is key to fighting off the common cold and the flu. In addition to eating healthy, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated!
A daily exercise regimen can aide in numerous aspects of your life, but did you know it can help prevent a cold or the flu as well? According to an article by Medical News Today, exercising frequently can benefit the immune system when it comes to avoiding catching the flu. Even something as simple as a brisk 20–30-minute walk outside in the fresh air can do wonders for not only your immune system, but your stress levels as well!
Reduce your stress.
Speaking of stress, did you know that being stressed can leave you more prone to illness by putting your immune system under strain? It’s true! People who are under high levels of stress are more susceptible to catching the cold or flu. As mentioned above, exercise is a great way to reduce stress as well as meditating, yoga, reading, or just turning on your favorite Netflix comfort show can all help with reducing stress and keeping you healthy!
What other tips do you have in combatting cold and flu season? Let us know by leaving a comment!