Ready or Not Flu Season is Here!

By on January 1, 2019
fight-the-flu

by Tami Mungenast Personal Trainer and Nutrition Counselor

Flu Season is upon us and on average up to 20% of the population can contract the Flu Virus. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February. Here are some ways to help you stay healthy during flu and cold season.

Vaccinate:  CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available. Sooner in the season is better to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Normally someone who receives the vaccine can reduce their chances by up to 70% from getting the flu.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a very important vitamin/hormone that helps with your immune system and fighting virus borne illnesses. This vitamin comes from sunlight, diet, and some supplements. It provides many health benefits including an improved ability to reduce risks for certain types of cancers. Recent research shows that Vitamin D may benefit our ability to prevent colds, the flu and other similar upper respiratory tract infections, which include viral symptoms like runny/stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat.

Avoid close contact with sick people:  Influenza is spread through airborne pathogens and the best way to avoid being infected by it is to avoid close contact to those who are sick. When out in public areas be sure to wash your hands or use antibacterial solutions that are alcohol based to minimize contracting the virus from public contact places.

Exercise: In particular Aerobic/Cardio exercise speeds up the heart rate to help pump larger quantities of blood and transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood. This helps increase your body’s natural virus killing cells.

For more information on influenza visit  www.cdc.gov/flu.

To find a free flu clinic near you visit www2.monroecounty.gov/health-flu