The festive holiday season is well underway, and that means it may be more difficult to avoid an inevitable cold or flu. It’s the time to take extra care of ourselves and the most vulnerable around us, like our children and elderly communities. And that means taking flu season precautions.
Before you deck the halls with snotty tissues, here are three of the most common ways to gain protection:
Last week’s news reports say flu season is already hitting harder than previous years in some parts of the United States. Though the most recently updated vaccination is only 10% effective in combating the dominant and more severe H3N2 flu virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feel it’s better to be somewhat covered than not at all. The flu shot still prevents 40% to 60% of flu cases if you get it early enough, around late October. It’s not too late to get yours, but it does take two weeks to fully take effect.
There has been a parade of blog posts and articles stressing the importance of drinking enough water, but hydration is not a trend. It’s common sense. Roughly two to three liters of pure, filtered room temperature water per day is enough to keep flushing impurities out of your system that could lead to illness. Water also helps your body maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Herbal tea with no added sugar is a perfect alternative.
Sleep is as necessary for your body as water. The time you spend sleeping is the time your body gets to restore and strengthen its immune system, and your immune system lives to fight another day. The body getting tired is a sign we often take for granted, but one that is crucial to listen to. If you feel tired, get rest. A minimum of seven hours per night is recommended for adults 18 years or older, but more is always better.
Flu season is here, and we've got to work together to get ready. Don't forget the three main ways to stay healthy this season. Keep an eye out for your neighbor by sharing these tips.