Angela Allen, Family Nurse Practitioner, recently gave a free presentation to the community on how to keep your family healthy in the New Year. Here is some advice from Angela on how to prevent and cope with the flu.
Year-Round Healthy Habits
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle year-round will help your body fight off illness during flu season. This includes eating right, exercising, and kicking bad habits such as smoking. Mental health has a large effect on physical health, so it’s important to reduce stress and spend time on personal hobbies that will lead to happiness and satisfaction. Scheduling a yearly physical can help you gain a clear image of your overall health and give you the opportunity to discuss health risks and concerns with your doctor.
Flu Season Special Precautions
Once flu season hits, you should take special precautions to avoid getting sick:
- Get plenty of sleep to give your body energy to fight off illness
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system
- Exercise to help enhances your immune system
- Wash your hands frequently to kill germs
- Get a flu shot
- Cover your cough or sneeze to prevent the spreading of germs
- Minimize contact with anyone displaying signs of illness
- Do not share food or drink with anyone
If You Get Sick…
Even with a generally healthy lifestyle and special care during flu season, there is still a chance you could become ill. If this happens, there are several coping strategies that can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort. Flu drugs such as Tamiflu can reduce symptoms and decrease the duration of your illness if taken within 48 hours of the onset of the flu. You should stay home and get plenty of rest the first few days, and remember to drink lots of fluids. You can take medications such as ibuprofen to reduce fever and relieve aches and pain. To help relieve congestion, fill up your bathtub with hot water and sit in the steamy bathroom. Most importantly, help to stop the spreading of the flu by staying home from work or school while you might still be contagious.
Tags: Illness Prevention