Boost Your Immune System Before Flu Season

Every year, the fall and winter season brings activities that we enjoy, like the holidays. But it’s also the arrival of the annual flu season as well, which can be dangerous and even deadly. While the flu can be dangerous to anyone, seniors are especially at risk of developing complications from the flu.

Many cases of the flu can be prevented by practicing healthy hygiene and having a strong immune system. Dr. Jeffrey Miller of the Osteoporosis & Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay offers this helpful guide containing tips about how to boost your immune system and provide the best resistance against catching the flu.

Get a flu shot

Getting an annual flu shot should be one of your highest priorities. The influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It’s a myth that the vaccine causes the flu—any illnesses you might get around the time of your flu shot would have happened anyway. If you are at high risk of flu complications due to underlying illnesses or age over 65, you might want to make sure that you get the flu shot rather than the nasal mist form of the vaccine.

Get outside

Sunshine is plentiful here in Florida and we are lucky to have so many opportunities to get out and enjoy it. But there’s one extra advantage of getting outside regularly: exposure to the sun increases your vitamin D levels, which boosts your immune system. You don’t need much exposure to sunlight, just 15 minutes or so.

Avoid cigarette smoke

If you smoke, you should try to quit as soon as possible. Smoking makes your risk of contracting respiratory illnesses like the flu much higher. Exposure to secondhand smoke isn’t much safer, either, so if you live with a smoker, encourage them to quit or to at least smoke outdoors.

Eat a healthy diet

We all know that we should eat a healthy diet, but it plays a very important role in boosting your immune system. For maximum immune-boosting power, make sure to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in a lot of vitamins that strengthen your immune system. Make sure to include citrus fruit if you can; it’s an excellent source of vitamin C.

Get the amount of sleep your body needs

Between busy days at work and electronic devices and television competing for our time, many of us are getting far less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a key part of maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. Give your body the sleep it needs to help fight off viruses.

Get regular exercise

Getting regular exercise is something that you’ll hear from every doctor because it has such important benefits. Exercise can boost your immune system, making it less likely that you’ll catch viruses. Exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is also good for your immune system.

Practice good hygiene habits

The same things we’ve all been told to do to avoid COVID-19 are also good precautions to keep yourself safe from the flu. This includes frequent hand washing, keeping your distance from people who are sick or coughing, and avoiding crowded places.

If you have more questions or concerns about how to avoid the flu this winter, we’d love to answer them. Call our office today or request an appointment online.

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