With Winter fast approaching and the flu season in full swing, many of us spend more time indoors to find warmth and avoid the chill, but this places us at great risk of getting ill. If you’re planning on rugging up and turning the heater on this Winter, there are some simple steps you can follow to avoid being cooped up with the flu rather than the ideal Netflix and chill.
Discount Drug Stores pharmacist, Melissa Hui, shares her top five tips on how to take care of your health and survive flu season this year.
1. Wash your hands
When it comes to surviving the flu season and avoiding illness, the simplest step is maintaining good hygiene. Touching your face with contaminated hands can spread illnesses such as pneumonia or influenza.
“The flu virus can easily spread and is most commonly caught through the nose and eyes,” Ms Hui said.
“Make sure to stay on top of your hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, this will minimise your own risk as well as others around you and clean your surroundings such as keyboard or phone regularly to minimise the spread of germs.”
2. Get a full night of sleep
During the flu season, getting a full night sleep and is one of the best ways to prevent illness.
Ms Hui said while lack of sleep can affect the brains’ daily functionality and causes major fatigue, it also causes your body’s immune system to weaken and increases your risk of getting sick.
“Getting an average seven to eight hours of sleep per night will improve the body’s health and wellbeing, allowing it to maintain appropriate immune function and diminishing your chance of an infection or illness,” she explained.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise is an excellent way to help your body fight infections. To maintain a healthy immune system, Ms Hui recommends taking part in regular exercise, whether it be through increasing your exercise quota with a morning stroll, bike ride or something different like tai-chi or yoga.
“Research has shown those who complete 30 minutes of moderate activity at least three times a week have stronger immune systems,” continues Ms Hui.
“Physical activity also helps to flush out the bacteria from your lungs and airways, reducing your chances of falling ill.”
4. Consume plenty of fruits & vegetables
Consuming regular fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins is an effective way of boosting your immune system and help fight viruses.
“Studies have found that cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries are among the few foods with the highest antioxidant levels,” Ms Hui said.
“You can try adding some berries to plain yoghurt or adding another handful of green vegetables to your lunch or dinner for a great nutritious kick.”
Zinc has also been found to help keep your health in check and can be found in red meat, fish, legumes and reduced-fat dairy foods.
5. Get vaccinated
“With 2017 being one of the nation’s worst flu seasons on record, it’s vital that people book in for a quick and easy flu vaccination to safeguard themselves and those around them against the flu,” Ms Hui said.
Discount Drug Stores offers in-store flu vaccinations to help protect patients and their loved ones. The in-store flu clinics are conducted by qualified pharmacists or nurse practitioners and sessions are available now. Special patient groups are also eligible to receive the influenza vaccination subsidised under the Government-funded National Immunisation Program.
This guest article was provided by Melissa Hui from Discount Drug Stores.