With the weather cooling and autumn approaching, the changing of the seasons is tempered by the reminder that flu and cold season is around the corner too, potentially laying you low in fall or winter. As the year 2020 winds down, the country is already dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the added strain on the health care system makes avoiding the flu virus doubly important this year.
Millennium Park Medical Associates is ready to help you avoid the worst of the season. Standing by in case you do get sick, Dr. Farah Khan and her team offer flu vaccinations and preventive well visits to keep you ahead of the game. Here are ffive tips that will help you stay well this winter.
#1 Get the flu shot
The seasonal flu shot is the best proactive step you can take to reduce your chances of getting the flu. The same is true for everyone in your family over the age of six months. Receiving your flu shot before October 31 helps ensure you’re protected throughout the season, but it’s never too late to catch up. Flu shots are typically available throughout the fall and winter months.
#2 Wash hands and surfaces
Many people are already in the habit of washing their hands with soap and water as part of their COVID-19 avoidance measures. Cold and flu germs also transmit through the air on the aerosol droplets from an uncovered sneeze or cough.
You’re most likely to pick up viruses where they land on infected surfaces. Wash your hands at every opportunity and use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Clean communal surfaces, such as doorknobs, faucets, and countertops often for an added layer of protection.
#3 Follow a healthy eating plan
You are what you eat, and eating wholesome, well-balanced meals can also help fortify your immune system against viral invaders. Boost your intake of infection-fighting antioxidants by filling at least half your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Alcohol depresses immune system function, so limit your intake to one drink per day.
#4 Keep active
Active people tend to develop fewer infections during cold and flu season. Regular exercise suppresses inflammatory stress hormones and stimulates the release of infection-fighting white blood cells. Physical activity doesn’t mean you need to train for a marathon. Adding 30 minutes of walking, five days a week, is often enough to add positive benefits to your life.
#5 Stay well rested
Adequate sleep each night is a simple way to boost immune system performance while reinforcing your natural defenses against infection. A well-rested body is better able to resist illness than it is when tired, drained, or run down. Target seven or eight hours of sleep each night, while ensuring your children get 10 to 14 hours of rest, including nap time, depending on their age.
With modest effort, you can reduce your chances of admitting a virus into your system during the fall and winter. Contact Millennium Park Medical Associates in Greenwood Village, Colorado, by phone or through the online booking tool available on this page if you have concerns about viral infection or other illness. Together, we’ll help you get the most from the season, in continued good health.
Book your appointment today.