5 Tips to Avoid the Flu
It’s flu season once again, and several health organizations are predicting that this year’s flu season will be particularly harsh. To help your family get through it, we have compiled a list of the best ways you and your family can avoid catching the flu this year.
The simplest and most effective way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated every year. The flu is the only respiratory virus that can be prevented by vaccination. While we recommend that everyone six months or older should get vaccinated, there are certain people who are considered at high risk for developing complications from the flu. It is extremely important for these individuals to receive a flu vaccine every year.
- Children between six months and five years of age
- Adults over the age of 65
- Pregnant women
- Healthcare providers
- Nursing home residents
Build a Germ Barrier
The flu is easy to catch – that’s what makes it so dangerous every year. You can pick it up from someone nearby coughing or sneezing or by touching a surface. Flu germs can linger on surfaces such as tables, counters, desks, doorknobs, and more for up to eight hours. No matter how careful you are, you probably won’t be able to avoid all germs, so you need to build a barrier to those germs entering your body. It’s easier than you may think:
- Wash your hands often
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Use disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces
- DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE (your mouth, eyes or nose) without washing your hands first.
Overall good nutrition can help keep your immune system working well and help ward off the flu. Instead of trying to add any particular food to your diet to stay healthy, it’s better to focus on eating balanced meals with a wide variety of healthy food choices.
You can help boost your immune system and recover faster if you do get sick by exercising regularly. Of course if you do get sick, don’t return to your exercise routine until after you are fever-free for at least 24 hours and feel better. It’s a good idea to initially cut both your intensity and duration in half. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
No, we don’t recommend locking yourself away until flu season passes. But, if you are sick, stay home. Anyone who has the flu should not return to work or school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicine.