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Avoiding the Flu

By Paul Rothbart

Being sick is never fun and the flu in particular, is very unpleasant. The fever, the body aches. I especially dislike the chills. Missing time off work and being able to do very little but sleep. Sometimes the flu can last several days. This is an illness we would all rather avoid. While there are no guarantees, there are things you can do to reduce the chance of getting the flu. Here are some of the ways to avoid the flu.

Flu Shot

Medical experts agree that the best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu shot each season. The best time is early fall, but anytime through the winter will also be effective. There is one than one type of vaccine. There's the shot, which is injected. An egg-free variant is available for those with an egg allergy. There is also a nasal spray, which can be taken by a healthy individual between the ages of two and 49 who are not allergic. A higher dose version is available for those over 65. For most people, the side effects are minimal. Generally, a sore arm when the shot was administered. Getting a flu shot should be seriously considered. 

Fight Germs

The flu is spread by germs. When a sick person coughs or sneezes, droplets go into the air and can infect nearby people if inhaled. Germs can also be transferred through surfaces. Germs can linger up to eight hours on some surfaces. Trying to avoid sick people is the first line of defense here, but that is not always possible, so washing the hands carefully with soap and water after contact with others or touching a surface that may have been contaminated is advised. Carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use when washing is not immediately possible is another good idea. Wiping down surfaces with disinfectant wipes should always be done to assure they are germ free. As flu germs are transferred through the nose and mouth, avoid touching the face until hands have been washed.

Take Care of the Body

The immune system needs to be in top shape to fight the flu and that means keeping the body healthy. Eating a balanced diet and  exercising regularly are essential. A sufficient amount of sleep, seven to nine hours a night is also important. Quitting smoking is also a good idea. Although it's not easy, make the effort. Smokers may be more likely to catch the flu. 

No one wants the flu. Bundled up in bed, still feeling cold, with a fever, aches, and chills. Not a good time. By following some simple guidelines, the risk of flu can be significantly reduced and you can enjoy a healthy, active winter.

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

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