Stay Healthy During Flu Season: 5 Tips for Seniors
Flu season typically falls sometime between the start of fall and the end of spring. The current season did begin unusually early. By late November, the flu had hit hard in the Deep South, from Texas to Georgia. The virus then broke out in California and the Rocky Mountain states, but was not widespread in the Northeast until recently. For seniors, this can be a difficult time of the year since they are more vulnerable to the effects of the flu. What follows are a few tips you can employ to minimize catching the flu this season.
1. Keep Your Hands Clean
Arguably the best way to avoid the flu, apart from avoiding people entirely, is to keep your hands clean. Viruses and germs can live for a short time on your hands, so as long as you wash them a few times a day with soap and water, you should be able to get them off your skin before they find a way into your body. A good rule of thumb is to wash your hands after all encounters with handrails, doorknobs, and countertops that other people have used.
- Wash Between Your Fingers
- Use Soap or Alcohol-Based Sanitizers
- Wash Hands Before Going to Bed
2. Get Your Vaccination Now
If you are not allergic, it is best to get your vaccination to the flu as soon as possible. This is because it can take up to two weeks before you are fully immunized from the flu. So, the earlier you can get vaccinated, the better. This year’s flu vaccine may not be particularly effective against the strain of the virus now widespread in the United States, experts said. But even so, it’s worth getting the shot: people who are vaccinated fare better if struck by the flu than those who are not.
3. Consume More Vitamin C
By upping your consumption of citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and the like, you can boost your immune system which reduces the effect of the flu. This is because Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that actually fights the flu virus even before it becomes active in your body. You can increase your intake of Vitamin C by eating more fruits that contain the antioxidant or taking a Vitamin C supplement such as elderberry extract which is quite potent.
4. Stay Active
Although exercise routines will temporarily lower your immune system for a short time, it is important to keep active and the blood flowing during flu season. Here are a few tips that will help you boost your immunity.
- Take a Walk Around the Block
- Exercise Inside Your Home
- Reduce Excess Weight
Remember, you are not training for the Olympics, you simply need to become more active to stay healthy.
5. Stay Away from Public Places if Possible
If you avoid people, you avoid the germs that carry the flu. Admittedly, this is not always possible, but you should minimize contact during this time of the year when you can. You don’t have to become a hermit, but you should avoid close contact whenever practical and carry alcohol-based sanitizer on you just in case you do come into contact with other people, especially in crowded places where germs may flow freely.
By following these tips, you can do your best to avoid the flu this season. Plus, washing your hands frequently, keeping them away from your face, and carrying alcohol-based sanitizer on you can greatly reduce the chances of catching the flu.