How to stay healthy during cold and flu season

As fun as the fall and winter season is — holidays, yummy food, time off school and work — it’s also usually a time filled with germs.  Once it hits October, there starts to be a rise in respiratory illnesses, including the common cold and, of course, the flu. Now, these don’t always seem like a big deal, but getting sick this time of year can be rougher on your body due to the colder temps, decrease in fresh and healthy eating, and more, all of which might affect your health.

No one wants to get sick and miss out on all the fall and winter fun once that time rolls around.  Here are some simple practices that can help keep you and your family healthy for cold and flu season.

Keep your hands and surfaces clean

Washing your hands regularly is an easy, yet incredibly important, way to stay healthy.

With so many viruses, you never know when you’ll touch a door handle or phone covered with the flu virus. You never know whether you just shook hands with someone who is about to have a cold. Washing your hands helps prevent you from spreading germs, and carrying hand sanitizer is a convenient alternative. You might not think you’re fighting viruses every time you wash your hands, but the CDC has actually reported that handwashing can reduce the risk of catching a cold, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses anywhere from 12-21%.

Making an effort to keep your home free of viruses is also a way to prevent illness.. Use a disinfectant to clean your kitchen and other high-traffic areas and surfaces. Keeping your hands and home virus free can help you and your family stay healthy. These virus-fighting methods are easy to implement;  you’re probably already practicing them.

Take care of your immune system and stay hydrated

Perhaps the biggest way you can avoid getting sick this season is to take care of your immune system. Even if you’re already living a relatively healthy lifestyle, you can do to boost your immune system this fall.

For starters, get plenty of sleep to help your immune system function better. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night, so definitely make that a priority. Next, get fresh air and stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water Finally, make sure you’re taking zinc and vitamins C and D3 supplements. While you might already take a multivitamin, zinc and the extra vitamins are great for your immune system.

Keep social distancing

While COVID-19 might be far from your mind these days, the virus is still spreading. Additionally, respiratory synctial virus (RSV) is also surging this season and is particularly rough on young children and infants That’s why it’s still important to avoid  others who might be sick—even with just a cold or the flu. Canceling  plans to see someone, although disappointing, is best when the person is sick, recently recovered, or recently exposed to a virus.

You can completely avoid human contact—and you shouldn’t have to! However,  continuing prudent social distancing is a wise practice this time of year.

The thought of constantly protecting yourself against seasonal illnesses can easily induce stress. Getting sick is no fun, especially during such a social and joyous time of year. Just practice the simple tips to reduce your risk of illness, and don’t worry too much! And if you do become sick despite your best preventative efforts, then Centered Family Health is here for you.