5 Ways to Fight the Flu This Fall
Fall is no time to get sick. Between watching football, gearing up for Halloween and enjoying pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, you probably have a lot on your to-do list. To make sure you can savor all autumn has to offer, here are 5 tips on keeping your immune system strong.
1. Prioritize sleep.
When you don’t get enough rest, you put yourself at risk for a whole host of issues including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Not getting enough sleep also weakens your immune system. According to the CDC, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. So, make it a priority, invest in a cozy set of PJs, and enjoy your beauty rest.
2. Exercise outside.
When you get your heart pumping, your body can circulate more immune cells. These cells help fight viruses and bacteria. Being outside in the sunshine also boosts your immune system, because it helps your body produce more vitamin D.
3. Enjoy immune-boosting foods.
Certain nutrients help your immune system stay healthy. These include beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc. Add the following to your grocery list to get your daily dose:
- Sweet potatoes
- Citrus fruits
- Fatty fish
- Vitamin D fortified milk
- Wheat germ
4. Keep your hands clean.
Regular hand washing is a great way to protect yourself from illness. Use soap and water, lather for at least 20 seconds and make sure you rinse off all soap residue. Hand sanitizer is a good option when you’re unable to wash.
5. Get your flu shot.
Give yourself an extra level of protection by getting your annual flu shot. This is quick, easy and generally covered by most insurance plans. Doing this a few weeks before the virus begins circulating in the community is ideal. Since Influenza activity can start to increase as early as October and peak in Minnesota in December, schedule your appointment today!
Call any St. Luke's primary care clinic to schedule an appointment (ages 6 months+).