As summer fades to fall and pool days are replaced by soccer tournaments, cold and flu germs quickly spread. This year, head into cold and flu season as prepared as possible by learning some tricks to help from getting sick. Here are the top ways to prepare for cold and flu season 2017/18.
General Hygiene Tips
Basic hygiene goes a long way in preparing for cold and flu season, especially hand washing. If you have kids in the house, teach them proper hand washing technique, and make sure you and everyone in the family are in the habit of washing hands after sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose.
Other important techniques to ward off colds and flu are coughing and sneezing into your elbow (as opposed to your hands), and carrying around alcohol-based hand sanitizers for when hand washing isn’t possible.
Avoid sharing cups, straws, or silverware with others to help limit germ spreading.
Stay Up to Date with Your Flu Shot
According to the CDC, making sure everyone in your family gets their flu shot each year is the best preventative measure. In fact, the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce doctor’s visits, missed school, and work. It also prevents overall flu illnesses every year.
Stay informed about 2017/2018’s specific flu viruses (as they are ever-changing), and which vaccines have been developed to prevent them.
Visit your local CVS Pharmacy or check out their website to learn about simple flu immunization options in your area.
Cold weather can make it challenging, but bundling up and heading outdoors (not to mention taking advantage of sunny days) is important for overall health. Research shows that vitamin D supports a healthy immune system, and the best way to get your daily dose is to head outside (don’t forget the SPF).
Another benefit of getting outside is the exercise which can boost your energy levels.
Supplements & Food to Have on Hand
Probiotics have been shown to support a healthy immune system, so incorporating either a supplement or fermented foods may help you to prepare for cold and flu season.
Eat a diet of nourishing food that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, healthy protein. Avoid sugar and simple carbs to ward off colds and the flu.
If you do get sick (or feel something coming on), a homemade chicken or veggie soup is a great choice, as is herbal tea.
If you experience diarrhea alongside your flu, check out DiaResQ for safe and effective support of digestive health. DiaResQ is food for special dietary use and provides beneficial nutrients to the digestive tract. DiaResQ will not alleviate your flu, but it can address the discomfort of diarrhea.
Know When to Call Your Doctor
While you can treat most colds and flu with rest, fluids, and time, know when to call your doctor. If you or your child has any trouble breathing, has symptoms that seem severe, or if you simply feel “off” in a way that is not normal (trust your gut on these last two), a call to the doctor is probably in order.
Colds and flu do happen, so be sure to allow yourself the rest you need if you do get sick. By following the tips outlined above, you can go into the 2017/18 cold and flu season as prepared as possible.