Now that fall is here and winter is just around the corner, it’s time to revisit the best ways to stay healthy during the cold and flu season. Doing what you can to protect yourself from getting these illnesses can help you stay healthy and productive in the coming months.
Our experienced providers at Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, offer specialized care, including flu shots, to help keep our patients in good health. In this blog, we share tips on how you can stay healthy in the coming months.
1. Use a tissue
Coughing and sneezing are the fastest ways to spread upper respiratory viruses, such as colds and the flu. Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze is the best way to stop these viruses in their tracks.
Don’t use your hands to cover your mouth and nose, though. Be sure to sneeze into your elbow or a tissue to keep the germs from spreading, and throw used tissues into the trash right away.
2. Wash your hands often
If you touch someone or something that has a living virus, and then you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, it could enter your system. So, keep your hands clean by washing them often with hot, soapy water. It’s especially important to wash them before eating, after using the restroom, and after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
Also, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your person for the times you can’t get to a sink. The sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol for the best protection. Clean and disinfect frequently handled objects and surfaces with sanitizing wipes or cleaning sprays.
3. Avoid other people’s germs
Keeping a moderate distance from others and avoiding shaking hands or kissing people can help prevent the spread of viruses. Avoiding contact with surfaces that may carry viruses, such as phones, door knobs, handles, or handrails may also help you stay healthy.
4. Strengthen your immune system
Strengthening your immune system can help you better fight off colds, the flu, and other viral infections. If you get a cold or the flu, having a strong immune system may help minimize the symptoms and duration of the illness.
You can strengthen your immune system by getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits and veggies and limit processed foods, sugar, and high-fat foods.
5. Get a flu shot
Unfortunately, there are no shots that can keep you from getting a cold. This is because there are more than 200 viruses that can cause colds. However, there are shots that can help keep you from getting the flu or reduce the severity of an infection.
Every year, a new flu shot is produced to help protect against flu strains that experts believe will be the most common each season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year.
At Integrative Primary Care, we offer flu vaccines as part of our comprehensive primary care. These vaccines can be given by way of an injection or nasal spray, making it even easier for you and your family to get immunized this fall.
If you already have cold or flu symptoms, contact your health provider as soon as possible, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions. Your Integrative Primary Care provider can find out what’s causing you to be sick and develop a treatment plan to help you feel better.
To learn more about staying healthy this fall and winter, or to get a flu shot, book an appointment online or over the phone with Integrative Primary Care. We’re located in Katy, Texas, and we serve the Houston area.