10 Tips for Preparing for Flu Season – Flu season is upon us, meaning it’s time to start considering how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the flu. As anyone who has had the flu can attest, it is an experience you would rather avoid. Flu season typically goes from October to May, with peak activity occurring in February. The flu virus is more prevalent during this time, and people are more likely to contract the illness.
The flu is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe illness, hospitalization, and even death. Each year, thousands of people in the United States die from the flu. While most people who get the flu get better within a few weeks, some people will develop serious complications such as pneumonia, which can be fatal. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive and take steps to protect yourself and your family during flu season.
Some simple things can help reduce your risk of getting the flu, and we’re here to help you get started. From packing electrolyte powder packets for better hydration on road trips to stocking up on cold and flu medicine, these tips will help you prepare for flu season so you can stay healthy all winter.
1. Get a Flu Shot
The best way to safeguard yourself from the flu is to get a flu shot. According to the CDC, there are several options for flu shots that are authorized for use in the United States. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about which flu shot is right for you. Per the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies should cover the cost but may have restrictions based on location or provider.
2. Stock Up on Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Hand Soap
Our hands touch many surfaces daily and can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Keeping your hands clean is a great way to guard against the flu. Stock up on hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap so you can always be prepared to wash your hands. Look for hand sanitizers that are at least 60 percent alcohol and use them when soap and water are unavailable.
3. Disinfect Surfaces in Your Home
Another way to protect yourself from the flu and other germs is to regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home. Consider these the surfaces that are frequently touched by people and become contaminated. Some examples of high-touch surfaces include door handles, light switches, countertops, and faucets. Use a disinfectant wipe or spray to clean these surfaces regularly.
4. Practice Good Respiratory Etiquette
Another practical way to avoid the flu is to practice good respiratory etiquette and encourage it in others, especially children. This means covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, washing your hands often, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home from work or school so you don’t spread the illness to others. If you are ill and must go out, wear a mask to stop the spread of your germs and protect those around you.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet and Get Plenty of Rest
Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest is essential for staying healthy and preventing the flu. When your body is run down, it is more susceptible to illness. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
6. Keep Your Immune System Strong
A robust immune system is essential to not getting the flu. You can do several things to boost your immune system, including eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing stress. If you are looking for additional ways to boost your immune system, talk to your doctor about supplements or other options.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids is vital to keep your body fortified and protected from the flu. A well-hydrated body is better able to fight off infection. Water is always the best choice, but you can get fluids from juices, teas, and soups. Drink regularly throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid sugary options like sodas, as they can actually dehydrate your body. And supplement with electrolyte powder to keep your levels up if you’re exercising or have health issues like diabetes. Hydration capsules are another convenient option that will help you stay hydrated on the go, whether at the office or on a road trip to visit relatives.
8. Avoid Touching Your Face
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu is to avoid touching your face. Our hands often come into contact with germs and bacteria, so it’s important to keep them away from our eyes, nose, and mouth. If you do touch your face, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly first.
9. Keep Your Distance from Sick People
Another good way to protect yourself from the flu is to keep your distance from people who are sick. If someone in your household is sick, have them stay in a separate room if possible and use a different bathroom if you have one. Avoid sharing towels, bedding, or other personal items. If you must be in close contact with a sick person, wear a mask and ask them to wear one to protect yourself. And to prepare for this scenario, make it clear to family members and loved ones that you won’t be visiting or hosting anyone if you or they are sick.
10.Stock Up on Cold and Flu Medicine and Remedies
If you catch the flu, you will be in no shape to go shopping for essentials like cold and flu medicine, so make sure to stock up in advance. And while you’re at it, stock up on other cold and flu remedies like honey, soup, herbal teas, and vitamins C and D. These can all help you feel better faster.
Final Flu Season Thoughts: The Best Defense Is a Good Offense
The best way to fight the flu and stay healthy this winter is by being proactive. Prepare for flu season by getting your flu shot, stocking up on cold and flu medicine and remedies, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding close contact with sick people. And if you do get the flu, make sure to take time off from work or school to recover so you don’t spread the illness to others. Following these simple tips can help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy during this year’s flu season.