Tips for Battling the Cold and Flu Season

Fall is here! That means cold and flu season is not far behind. Here are some simple precautions you and your family can take to help ward off illness this fall and winter.

Remember to get a flu shot. One significant means of protection from the flu is to be vaccinated on a yearly basis. A flu shot is recommended for anyone over the age of six months. High-risk individuals are especially urged to get a flu shot. Those who are considered to have a higher risk of contracting the flu and developing flu-related complications are young children, pregnant women, individuals with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or people 65 years and older. Although children younger than six months are also at high-risk, they are too young to receive the vaccine.

Wash your hands. One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to develop a habit of regularly washing your hands. Scrubbing hard with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds works wonders towards getting rid of cold and flu germs. If soap and water are out of reach, alcohol-based hand sanitizer will also do the trick.

Sanitize your surroundings. Sanitizing objects that are in constant use is also a healthy habit to get into. Items that are handled everyday by multiple people should be regularly cleaned. These include phones, keyboards, the keys on fax machines and copiers, light switches, chair armrests, microwaves and doorknobs.

Cover your nose and mouth. Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing is an excellent way to prevent the spreading of germs to others. Also, avoid touching your face. Touching the eyes, nose and mouth is often a means by which germs are spread.

Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Staying well rested helps to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Another way to boost your immune system is by exercising regularly.

Maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy food is another valuable tool to keep your immune system going strong. Fruits and vegetables are always a great choice! In particular, be sure to choose foods that are high in protein. Like sleep and exercise, protein is very good for your immune system. Some protein-rich foods are fish, eggs and yogurt.

If you have any more tips for avoiding illness this cold and flu season, feel free to share in the comments below.