• November 23, 2019
  • info@komencentralvalley.org
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How To Stay Flu-Free This Winter

With winter well and truly on its way, the cold weather and shorter days bring with them the inevitability of an increased flu risk. While we can all expect to succumb to a typical winter cough or cold, the flu tends to be more dangerous – which means that preventing it from spreading is incredibly important.

If you’ve ever been struck by the flu before, you’ll know that it brings with it far more severe symptoms than a common cold, including a spike in your body temperature, swollen lymph nodes, and excess mucus production. You should be able to recover from the flu after a week or so, although it does have the potential to lead to life-threatening complications for some children and the elderly.

If you want to stay flu-free this winter, here’s how to do it:

Wash your hands

You hear it all the time, but it’s true: your hands are the biggest and easiest carriers of germs. It only takes a second to eliminate harmful bacteria by washing your hands in hot soapy water, so try to get into the habit of doing it after you’ve used the toilet, coughed, sneezed, or blown your nose.

Get your flu vaccination

Nobody likes vaccinations, but it’s worth getting your flu jabs before winter really kicks in, especially if you’re at an increased risk of being affected. Flu vaccinations can prevent people from getting the flu in the first place, which in turn prevents hospitals from filling up with patients admitted for flu-related complications. They usually take up to two weeks to kick into action.

Improve your lifestyle

While anyone can be at risk of getting the flu, there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to help your body to stay healthier on the whole. Make sure you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and sleep for at least eight hours every night. That in itself can be enough to strengthen your immune system and help you to stay flu-free.

Prevent the spreading of germs

If you’re going to cough, sneeze, or blow your nose, be mindful of spreading your germs, especially if you’re in a public place. Always use a tissue, wash your hands, and distance yourself from other people when you can. If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, rest up at home for at least 24 hours, and try to avoid close contact with anyone else.