Soon the leaves will change color, and the weather will cool down- it’s very nearly Autumn! As we prepare for the chilly months ahead, it’s important to remember to take precautions against sickness.
As you already know, the cold and flu season is just around the corner, and if you want to stay your healthiest self, you need to start taking some preventative measures now. In the following few paragraphs, we’ll discuss several ways that will help you stay ahead of the curve and avoid getting sick this winter. Let’s get started!
Get a Flu Shot
This one could come off as a total no-brainer, but another way to protect yourself from influenza is to go get your yearly flu shot. Flu shots are safe and effective, and they’re the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu. The CDC recommends that anyone who is six months and older in age get their flu shot every year.
The CDC also recommends that any individuals who are at high risk for complications from the flu should get the flu shot as soon as it is available. These people include:
– pregnant women
– people with chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma
– people 65 years of age and older
– people who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
Take Dietary Supplements
One way to help your body fight off infection is by taking some vitamin supplements. Vitamin C, D, and E are all great for boosting your immunity and keeping you healthy. You can find these vitamins in gummy form, which makes them easy and fun to take! Generally, these are made vegan, gluten-free, corn syrup-free, and have natural flavors. They’re an easy and delicious way to get some extra help when your diet isn’t cutting it. Here are just a select few of the vast benefits the following nutrients give us:
Vitamin E – protects cells from damage, reduces the severity of cold symptoms, helps production of white blood cells and T-cells, an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals, which aid in immune support.
Vitamin D – vitamin D levels are important for bone health. They help to absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which help keep your bones and your teeth strong. Helps support muscles, nerves, and overall immune health. It may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. It can help aid in weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improve mood. Vitamin D gummies are widely available.
Vitamin C – may help to reduce the duration of cold symptoms and helps to create white blood cells, which are required by the body to fight infection. Helps to develop, grow, and repair the body’s tissues. Helps with various bodily functions like the absorption of iron, formation of collagen, and the maintenance of bones, teeth, and cartilage. Vitamin C gummies are widely available.
Elderberry – this medicinal plant is widely known as a powerful antioxidant. Much like vitamin E, it helps to neutralize free radicals, which can greatly improve certain immune system responses. Elderberry has been used for centuries for many different purposes, but nowadays, its primary function is as an antioxidant to help support immune health and treat cold and flu symptoms.
Wash Your Hands Often
One of the easiest yet most promising methods to prevent infection is to wash your hands often. The Covid pandemic certainly got us all reacquainted with this preventative health staple. You should wash your hands:
– before, during, and after preparing food
– before eating food
– after using the restroom
– after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
– after handling animals or animal waste
– after touching common areas (subways, elevators, etc.)
Washing your hands properly means using soap and water and scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. You can also use alcohol-based (ethanol or isopropyl) hand sanitizers, but they should be used in addition to, not in place of, soap and water.
Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Mouth, or Nose
This is another easy one, but probably easier said than done, considering we touch our faces hundreds or even a several thousand times a day. Most of those times, we aren’t even conscious of it. Our hands come into contact with all sorts of surfaces and germs throughout the day, so it’s important to avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. This will help to prevent those germs from entering your body and making you sick.
If You’re Sick, Stay Home
This one is pretty straightforward. If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t go out in public. And definitely don’t travel. The best way to prevent the spread of illness is to stay home and rest until you’re feeling better. If you do need to go out (groceries, errands, etc.), make sure to wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Even if it’s just the common cold, you certainly don’t want to spread it to anyone else.
Avoid Large Crowds
While it can be tempting to hit up that big outdoor concert you’ve been thinking about all year, large crowds are, unfortunately, a breeding ground for germs. If you’re trying to avoid getting sick, it’s best to steer clear of large groups of people. This is especially true during cold and flu season.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it. In a nutshell: wash your hands, avoid crowds, get your flu shot, don’t touch your face, stay home if you’re sick, and take gummy vitamins as a needed boost for your immune system, such as elderberry and vitamins C, D, and E. For these, we recommend gummy vitamins since they’re tasty and easy to take in a chewable form. Most are free from high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors and have a high customer average rating value.
The average customer ratings for these are often in the high 4s, and some even have 5 stars. Of course, before taking any dietary supplements, you should consult with your doctor or other healthcare professional. You may not need supplements at all, which is a good thing. That means you’re getting everything you need from a balanced diet. But for most of us, we need a few supplements to pick up where our lunches and dinners left off.