How Seniors Can Stay Healthy During Flu Season
Fall is here and while many people are understandably excited about the milder weather and all of the fun fall activities that come with this time of year, fall unfortunately also means the beginning of flu season. What many people don’t realize is that the flu season starts in October and lasts all the way through March. This is why it is important that everyone starts preparing for flu season now and taking some extra steps in order to get ahead of the flu before flu season reaches its peak.
Everyone is susceptible to getting the flu, but seniors are even more prone to getting sick and even ending up in the hospital because of the flu. This is why it is so important for all seniors to take a few steps now in order to stay healthy during flu season. Here are a few easy tips to start implementing into your routine right away.
- Get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is one of the best ways for the body to develop full immunity to the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone gets their flu shots early in the season as it can take up to two weeks for the body to become fully immune. It is important to remember that while the flu vaccine may not be a perfect match against the flu every year, it can still help protect against the virus.
- Start taking care of your body. If you eat right, get at least eight hours of sleep and drink plenty of water, your system will be able to run at its absolute best, so start doing these things now. It will help keep your immune system in top working order and stop you from being more susceptible to the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Good hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. Make sure that you are washing your hands several times throughout the day. Wash with soap and water and make sure to really scrub your hands on both sides. You can also carry hand sanitizer with you. Make sure that you are also cleaning inside the home and disinfecting surfaces like countertops and doorknobs that get touched often.
- Take Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the best things that you can take during flu season. It can boost your immune system and help reduce cold and flu symptoms.
- Avoid public places when possible. Crowded, public places are unfortunately some of the most common places to get the flu virus. Do your best to avoid really crowded places when it isn’t necessary. Subways, airplanes and crowded restaurants can all be culprits.
- Try to not touch your face. This is actually harder to do than it seems when you really think about it, but trying not to touch your face is a great step in preventing the flu. If you touch your nose, eyes or mouth with a hand that has been infected with germs, it can easily get into your respiratory system where they are more likely to cause illnesses.
If you keep these tips in mind this fall, you can keep yourself safe during flu season—and all year long!
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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