As the calendar transitions into cooler months, flu season begins to loom. Ensuring you are adequately prepared can make a significant difference. Here’s how you can ready yourself.
First and foremost, get vaccinated. The CDC and Accountable recommend annual flu vaccines as the first and best way to prevent the flu. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and even the risk of flu-related death in children. Remember that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection.
Secondly, maintain good hygiene habits. Regular hand washing with soap and warm water is crucial. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face, as this is a common way for the virus to enter the body.
Nutrition and sleep are also pivotal in preparing for flu season. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and zinc, can boost your immune system. A good night’s sleep aids in keeping your immune system robust.
Staying active helps, too. Regular exercise can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off infections and viruses. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Remember to practice social distancing when possible, especially in enclosed spaces and large crowds. If you’re feeling unwell, stay home and rest to prevent spreading any potential illness.
Lastly, keep your environment clean. Disinfect commonly touched objects and surfaces, like door knobs, light switches, and cell phones.
While there’s no foolproof way to completely avoid the flu, these steps can significantly decrease your risk and ensure that you’re as prepared as possible for the coming flu season. Be proactive and take good care of yourself. Your health is worth it!