Every year, the flu spreads across the country, leaving Americans sneezing, shivering, and running to the doctor. While the CDC can’t predict what this year’s flu season will be like, health professionals are preparing for a severe season just to be safe. 

You can also start preparing for flu season this year to reduce your risk of catching the same illness as everyone else in your office or classroom. Follow these six steps to stay healthy and avoid the flu. 

#1) Wash Your Hands

Simply washing your hands frequently can go a long way to prevent the spread of illness in your area. Wash your hands before eating or touching your face and eyes, to limit the ingestion of harmful viruses or bacteria. Also, wash your hands immediately if you come into contact with a sick person or have touched items in a high-traffic area like a door handle or shopping cart.  

#2) Eat Well and Exercise

The best way to avoid sickness is to care for your body. Eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients and vitamins can help your immune system grow to protect you from illness. Working out can also keep your body strong and healthy. If you don’t already exercise regularly, it’s never too late to start. Even taking a 20-minute walk each day can improve your health significantly. 

#3) Stay Hydrated

Just because it’s not as hot in the fall doesn’t mean you can reduce your water intake. Many people drink less water in the fall simply because they don’t feel hot. Keep up your water intake and set goals for how much water you want to drink each day. This will keep your body going and protect you from illnesses like the flu. 

#4) Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping is essential to healing your body. When you are well-rested, your body can fight off illness and injury, along with boosting your physical and mental health. If you are physically or mentally run down, your body’s defenses might not be able to protect you from the flu. So go to bed early – it’s a great way to protect your health. 

#5) Rest if You Get Sick

Even if you don’t have the flu, but pick up some other kind of illness, take time to recover. Many people try to push through when they are ill, but this can lengthen recovery times and even causes the sickness to worsen. What starts out as a small cold could build into the flu if you’re not careful. It is better to take off a day or two to recover than to feel sick for more than a week at work. 

#6) Get the Flu Shot 

The best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu is to get vaccinated. Flu shots are covered by most insurance providers or have a minimal out-of-pocket cost. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot in October, but it’s not too late to get vaccinated in November-January. Don’t believe all of the flu shot myths floating around. Get vaccinated sooner than later.

If you still need to get vaccinated, contact the Florida Wellness Medical Group to schedule an appointment. They can give you a flu shot and review your health with a medical checkup so you’re ready to stay healthy this year. 

Florida Wellness has four locations serving Tampa Bay, offering primary care, diagnostic labs and imaging and chiropractic care. Call 844.935.5669 for a location near you!