By: Sydney Morehart

Saturday, September 22nd, marked the first day of fall. While the days are still rather warm, the evenings are beginning to feel significantly cooler. As summer wraps up, it is still important to remember to keep well hydrated and to avoid strenuous physical activity during the heat of the day (this time of year that is usually between the hours of 1 and 4pm).

 

October also marks the beginning of cold and flu season.  In order to avoid contracting the flu, follow these few simple steps:

 

Wash your hands – Use soap, hot water and scrub for at least 20 seconds

Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes

Get the seasonal flu vaccine – call your doctor or visit your local pharmacy

Get plenty of sleep – feel well rested when you wake up

Avoid smoking and second hand smoke exposure

Drink plenty of water each day

Refrain from alcohol – alcohol dehydrates you and lowers your body’s immune response system

Reduce your stress

Eat your vitamins  – maintain a balanced diet with lots of fruits (banana, grapefruit), veggies (squash, carrots, broccoli), proteins (nuts, lean meats) and whole grains (oatmeal, wheat bread). Avoid sugary foods and drinks.

 

If you do start to feel the symptoms of the flu or of a seasonal cold, call your doctor. There are antiviral drugs that can lessen the effects of the flu and make you feel better faster. More importantly, they can prevent serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia. For more information on antiviral drugs, click here.

 

For more information on 2012-2013’s flu season, visit the CDC’s website.