It’s almost that time of year again; time for sniffles, sneezes, coughs, and sore throats. Yes, it’s almost flu season. But, take heart, there are ways to avoid the flu. You can keep yourself, and your entire family, healthy this year by following these simple tips.
The Flu Shot
Everyone can get the flu, even healthy people and kids, so your first step in avoiding the flu should be getting the flu shot. Every year, the flu vaccine gets an update, which means you will always be protected against the newest strains of the flu. Even young children can get the flu shot (it’s safe for kids 6 months and older).
Even better, most insurance carriers cover the cost of the vaccine, so there will be no cost to you.
Wash Your Hands
Another way to avoid getting sick this season is to simply wash your hands before you touch your face. If you have a family member who is sick, make sure to always wash your hands after coming into contact with them or anything they’ve touched. Clean anything they’ve touched, too. This includes light switches, computer keyboards, and even countertops.
Cough into Your Elbow
When you cough or sneeze, remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Make sure to throw away tissues after each use. Teach your children to cough or sneeze into their elbows when they don’t have a tissue (and make sure you do the same!).
To keep flu symptoms at bay, make sure to hydrate. Drink as much as a gallon and a half of water a day; actually, you can substitute other unsweetened beverages for water if you’re not a fan. Consider drinking hot tea or bone broth. These will help stimulate your immune system and keep the flu virus from proliferating in your body.
Herbal teas, hot water with lemon, and chicken soup are also delicious ways to keep colds and flu away.
Add More Vitamin C
Studies show vitamin C can help get rid of the flu and many other viruses better than any over the counter medication can. If you start to feel sick, take a 500-mg supplement of vitamin C daily until you begin to feel better.
Vitamin D can boost your immune system, too. Spending a little time outside can replenish your stores of Vitamin D better than a supplement can. Vitamin D deficiency is most common in winter months, when colds and flu and more prevalent, and research shows that catching a cold or flu has a lot to do with depleted stores of vitamin D. Heading outside for just 10 minutes of sun (just take a walk around the block or sit outside and enjoy the breeze) is enough.
All of these things can help you avoid getting the flu this year!