The headlines say it all:
“Flu season off to an early–and nasty–start” – CBS News
There’s no getting around it: It’s that time of year. Even here in South Florida, colds peak through the winter months. And of course you’ve heard the old saying: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t cure the common cold.” It’s true. We can’t. So the second-best alternative is to avoid them altogether.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that adults average two or three colds per year, with even more in children. It also notes that most people contract their colds during winter and spring, but that colds are a year-round curse. They’re the main reason people miss school and work, according to the CDC.
Sickness can be difficult to avoid during the winter months, even in South Florida. Germs are easily passed from person to person and studies have shown that cold weather can weaken the immune system. The good news is that there are many ways you can protect your health during cold and flu season! Below is a list of tips that will be helpful this season:
Get a Flu Shot
One of the best things you can do in order to protect your health during the winter months is to get a flu shot. A flu shot can cut your risk of developing the flu by up to 70%.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet helps support your immune system. If you have a strong immune system, then you are much less likely to develop the cold or flu! Vitamin C is one of the nutrients that helps support a healthy immune system. You can find vitamin C in green peppers, citrus fruits and broccoli.
Vitamin E is another one of the nutrients that supports a healthy immune system. You can find vitamin E in nuts, sunflower seeds and corn oils. Additionally, you should limit the amount of sugar you take in. Sugar has a tendency to suppress the immune system, as well as many other negative effects.
Wash Your Hands
Washing our hands frequently is one of the best practices in reducing the risk of getting sick. In order for you to kill bacteria and viruses on your hands, you will need to wash them in warm water for at least 20 seconds. You can keep hand sanitizer with you at all times just in case you do not have access to soap or water.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The importance of a good night’s sleep is often overlooked. However, it is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself healthy during cold and flu season. A lack of sleep can impair your immune system, which can put you at a greater risk for getting sick. Medical experts recommend getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Exercise helps reduce stress. Stress can impair immune system functioning. There have also been studies done to show that regular exercise can decrease one’s chances of getting the cold or flu.
Reduce your chances of catching a cold or the dreaded flu this season by following our tips! We aim to keep you healthy and in your best shape.