Did you know a flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to completely protect you from infection? When it comes to winter sicknesses, preparing ahead of time is essential. Make a plan for how to prepare for cold and flu season before it takes you by surprise.
How to Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
Have you gotten your flu shot yet? If you haven’t, the best time to get it is right now. You’ll get complete protection before the busy holiday travel season begins! But remember, a flu shot isn’t the only way to protect yourself against sickness this winter. Scroll down to learn what the experts recommend when it comes to how to prepare for cold and flu season.
Focus on Healthy Behaviors
One of the best ways to keep your immune system functioning is to make sure you’re not neglecting other areas of your health. The better your overall health is, the easier time your body will have fighting off infections. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can give your health an extra boost this winter:
- Be sure to exercise regularly if you are not already. We already know that regular exercise is great for your body and mind, but did you know that it can boost the effectiveness of your immune system by a third? Even moderate exercise like a brief daily walk can improve your overall immune responses.
- Prioritize eating nutritiously and hydrating regularly. Protein and vitamin C can both improve your immune response, so be sure they’re on your plate this winter. Drinking lots of water can also help your body fight off potential infections.
- Get lots of rest. If you do get sick, a well-rested immune system will have plenty of resources to help you recover.
Don’t Let the Flu Catch You Off Guard
If you’re trying not to get sick, avoiding germs may seem like a no-brainer. However, you may not realize how many different ways cold and flu germs can reach you. Make sure you aren’t missing anything important when you make your plan to avoid illness this winter:
- Regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces in your living space, like doorknobs and light switches. If you touch something regularly throughout your day, disinfect it before you go to bed at night. And yes, this does include your smartphone.
- You’re more likely to pick up a cold or flu from another person than from your general environment. Avoid crowds during cold and flu season, and don’t spend time with people who are sick in person.
- Wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes as much as possible. Be sure to wash your hands before eating, too.
- Ask your doctor what vaccines you should plan on getting to be prepared for cold and flu season. Other illnesses can compromise your health and immune response, making it harder to fight off a bout of cold or flu. And be sure to get your flu shot if you haven’t already! Even if the flu vaccine doesn’t completely prevent you from getting sick, it can still prevent you from experiencing a serious infection.
Now that you’ve learned how to prepare for cold and flu season, it’s time to put that knowledge to work. What can you do today to make sure you stay healthy all winter long?
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