5 Ways To Avoid The Cold and Flu All Year
The cold and flu viruses can cause severe complications and can even be deadly in people of all ages. Unfortunately, seniors are at a much greater risk due to weaker immune systems. It’s important to take care of yourself and make sure you are doing everything you can to be prepared. Thankfully, a lot of these ways to develop a stronger immune system and better protect yourself are very easy. Make sure if you do happen to get sick, even with all the precautions, that you call your doctor right away. These are the best ways to avoid that happening to you.
- Get the Flu Vaccine Before October, Every Year
According to the CDC’s website, 70-90% of seasonal flu-related deaths are people 65 and older. This statistic makes the flu season very dangerous to seniors and shows the importance of getting vaccinated. The flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the potentially serious complications that can happen from the flu.
The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated before October and get a new flu shot every single year. However, even if you miss getting it by that month it’s still strongly recommended to get it. Immunity to the virus weakens over the year, and the shot is updated to the changing and most dangerous viruses. Protect yourself and your family and friends will thank you too, as it helps stop the spread of the virus.
- Exercise Regularly
The reason why doctors recommend regular exercise as we age is to keep bones and muscles strong, as well as to boost and strengthen immune systems. By exercising, we increase natural antibodies, which helps us be more resilient to the cold and flu. Physical exercise also helps get rid of anything causing harm in our lungs or breathing. This can reduce stress, which also reduces your chance of developing the flu, a cold or other illness.
There are a lot of ways to stay active while still having fun. You can hang out with friends and family by biking, playing tennis, going for walks or golfing. If you join a gym you can find other seniors to keep you active and get to know new people. Working out regularly is a great way to meet new friends, while staying healthy.
- Maintain A Clean Environment
Germs can unfortunately spread from one location to the next. Cleaning your house regularly or hiring a housekeeper to help on a scheduled time is important. Using disinfectant, especially in the kitchen and the bathrooms, will help you fight against the flu and cold. Make sure you use clean towels and sponges and disinfect them after every use, as well as keep tissues on hand around your house.
- Cover Coughs and Wash Hands Often
Besides getting a vaccine, one of the best ways to prevent getting sick is to practice good habits, including washing your hands regularly with soap and water or use sanitizer if water isn’t available. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough, wash your hands after and make sure to use tissues and throw them away right after to prevent others from getting sick around you. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose because germs can spread to these areas from touching infected surfaces.
- Avoid Crowded Places and People Who Are Sick
Maintain good health by avoiding crowded places and people you know are sick. If you get sick, make sure you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to avoid spreading it to others. The cold and flu can be passed from one person to the other in a matter of minutes. That is why it is important that you stay away from crowded places, like malls or sporting events, because you never know who has the flu.