Flu season is here once again, and we’re hard at work helping our patients and friends stay safe! The flu can be dangerous, especially this year as COVID-19 is still circulating. Anyone can get the flu, but immunocompromised people or those recovering from COVID-19 are at higher risk. Even though the flu is common, you can definitely lower your risk with these 10 tips:
1. Get Vaccinated
We can’t stress this one enough: A flu shot is your first line of defense against the flu. The flu shot reduces your risk of contracting and spreading the virus. This is also a great opportunity to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t yet. Every Thursday, we run a free vaccine clinic. If you are currently a Community Access Network patient, give us a call to book your appointment. You can also call day-of every Thursday to see if any appointments are available.
2. Wear a Mask
Wearing a mask when you’re not feeling well is more common than ever. Both the flu and COVID-19 viruses are airborne and highly contagious. To protect yourself and your loved ones, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, especially if you’re immunocompromised or feel under the weather.
3. Cover Your Nose and Mouth
Even if you don’t wear a mask, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you cover your face when you sneeze or cough with your arm or elbow.
4. Stay Home and Social Distance
During this season, it may be safer for your health and the health of others to stay home or stay away from certain types of gatherings, especially if you’ve been sick recently or are feeling ill.
5. Wash Your Hands
Many germs, including the flu virus, can transmit through contact with objects or surfaces that have been contaminated. Washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water, along with using hand sanitizer, can kill germs.
6. Avoid Touching Your Face
The average person touches their face 16-23 times per hour, consciously or unconsciously. But the flu virus can easily travel from surfaces to hands to faces to the insides of our bodies if we’re not careful, so do your best to avoid touching your face, especially in public places.
7. Practice Gentle Nutrition
In this season of cold, flu, and COVID-19, it’s especially important to practice gentle nutrition. Eating lots of fiber-filled fruits and veggies, healthy sources of protein like nuts and lean meats, and foods high in Vitamin C can help your body and immune system be as healthy and protected against infection as possible.
8. Take Immune-Boosting Supplements
If you’re particularly at risk of getting sick, add immune-boosting vitamins and supplements to your daily diet, with minerals such as Vitamins A through E, iron, magnesium, folic acid, and zinc–or even consider a simple multivitamin. These nutrients can also be found in natural products like herbal teas and honey. Your provider can help with recommendations if you have questions about which supplements to take.
9. Get Active
Daily activity is always beneficial to your overall wellness, but getting in a dose of daily movement is especially helpful if you’re trying to boost your immune system. Whether that means going to the gym or going for a short walk, your body will thank you! Just keep in mind if you’re feeling unwell, exercise may not be helpful. It’s generally better to take it easy when you’re under the weather. However, gentle stretching and daily sun exposure while sick can be beneficial.
10. Schedule a Checkup
If you haven’t visited your doctor in a while, this is a great time to do so. Your physician can provide you with other practical tips to keep you healthy and safe and can get you set up with a flu shot.
Schedule an appointment with us today if you’d like to meet with one of our amazing doctors!