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Avoid Illness by Getting Ready for Flu Season

By Paul Rothbart

When fall turns to winter, it gets colder and you start to think about the holidays. It's a fun time of year, but it also marks the start of flu season. Every year, there is some strain of the flu going around. Naturally, you want to avoid it, just as you want to avoid any kind of illness. It makes you feel lousy, you miss time off work, and the flu can be serious. For these reasons, it's important to prepare properly. By taking the proper steps, you can avoid the flu altogether and be able to enjoy all the fun of the season.

Get a Flu Shot

Vaccines are developed to protect you. None of them are 100 percent effective, but studies show that they do significantly reduce the risk of illness in most people. This includes the flu vaccine. It's a good idea to get a flu shot in late October or early November. You can get one from your primary healthcare provider or at a local pharmacy. It takes just a few minutes, doesn't hurt, and generally has no more side effects than a sore arm. This is your first step in defending against the flu.

Wash Your Hands

Flu germs often spread when you touch an infected surface and then touch your face. This often results in inhaling the germs and getting sick. Wash your hands frequently and carefully. Be thorough and get between your fingers and all the way up to your wrists. A 20-second wash is recommended. You can time it by singing Happy Birthday twice. Wash anytime you get home from being out someplace. Naturally, a thorough wash is vital before eating. 


Keep disinfecting wipes and sprays handy at all times. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces in your home and car. Kill the germs before they get a chance to infect you. This is important when away from home as well. Whenever we travel, my wife thoroughly disinfects every surface we may touch in a hotel room. While this may seem excessive, we have never gotten sick while on the road. Why take a chance?

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Staying hydrated helps your body fight illness. Certainly, drink plenty of water every day. Fruit juices, such as orange juice, are loaded with Vitamin C that helps to boost your immune system. Soups are also helpful in the fight against the flu and are comforting meals in cold weather. 

When the weather gets cold, flu season begins. Play it smart. Get your flu shot and take all of the steps to help prevent getting sick. Winter is a lot more fun when you're feeling good. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex.

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