As You Get Ready for the Winter, It's a Good Time to Ramp Up Your Immunity and Consider a Flu Shot

November 2, 2021

flu shotWith winter coming and more activities moving inside, now is the time to bolster your immune system by eating right, supplementing your diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals and getting regular exercise, especially outdoors to help maximize vitamin D levels. Getting a flu shot may also help protect against the flu, but it is not a 100 percent guarantee because yearly vaccines are developed based on the most commonly predicted viruses for that season. If you do get the shot, remember that it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to provide protection.

Is It the Flu or Just a Cold?

This can be tricky because colds and flu can have similar symptoms, but there are differences. Colds tend to come on more gradually and are more likely to cause a runny or stuffy nose, whereas the flu tends to occur more abruptly and have more severe symptoms, like feeling feverish/chills, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

If you think you have the flu, be sure to get plenty of rest. Water, soothing teas and clear broths can help you stay hydrated, and over-the-counter remedies can be helpful in providing relief from symptoms. You can also contact your doctor to inquire about possible medications that may help you get better sooner. In some cases, the flu can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. Older people, very young children and people with chronic medical conditions are more at risk.

Flu Prevention Strategies

Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs and avoid touching your eyes or mouth. Also, avoid close contact with people who are sick and take good care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, managing stress, reducing or eliminating smoking and drinking, and eating a balanced diet with minimal processed sugar.

It is important to note that some people with specific health conditions should either delay getting certain vaccinations, or not get them at all. Please consult your doctor to make sure you are getting the vaccines appropriate for you.