Summer is almost over, and with the changing seasons the risk getting sick usually rises. That means this is the perfect time to start prepping your body for prevention so you're less likely to catch a cold or the flu and bounce back faster if you do get a bug. Here are some tips to avoid getting sick as the colder weather arrives:
Nutritious meal choices help boost your immune system, and that's what fights off germs and viruses. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and cut back on junk foods. Ask your primary care physician to check your levels of Vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals so she can recommend whether you should take vitamin supplements to stay healthy.
Get Your Vaccines
There's a reason physicians recommend seniors get flu and pneumonia shots before winter hits: they work to keep you healthy. Make sure you get your shots when you're supposed to, and while you're there whether you should get immunized for shingles and other preventable diseases.
Sleep is an important component of staying healthy and sometimes in summer we tend to overdo things. Make sure you get enough rest so your body has the energy to fight off bugs. Resist watching that last TV show and opt for some extra snooze time instead!
Keep it Clean
Wash your hands often, especially when you're out and about or among children. This is still the most important step you can take when fighting illness because viruses don't enter your body right away. Wash for 30 seconds minimum and don't forget to clean under your fingernails.
Stress reduces our ability to fight off infections, so if you want to avoid getting sick you need to lower your stress levels. Watch a comedy, get some exercise, or visit with a friend every day to keep your stress levels manageable.
Physical activity makes your circulation work more efficiently, staves off stress, and boosts your appetite and well-being. Make sure you get some kind of workout in every day so you can stay healthy when the seasons change. Fall is the perfect time to join an exercise class or start swimming in the indoor pool, or find your options and stay active when it's cold or rainy outside.
If you're a smoker you've heard it before and it's still true: smoking lowers your immunity, raises the chances of getting sick, and makes your recovery much longer. No matter how old you are, how long you've smoked, or how many times you've tried to quit, now is the time to end this habit.
Get a Checkup
While we're all more susceptible to illness when the weather changes sometimes it's more than that. Ask your primary care provider to check you for symptoms of Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression brought on by seasonal changes. If you just can't find the motivation to do things, feel down most days, and have trouble sleeping it may be more than the summertime blues.
The main thing to remember is to listen to your body and understand what it needs. Take simple steps to prevent illness, eat well, and stay active to avoid getting sick when the seasons change!
Simple lifestyle changes can promote good health regardless of the season. Talk to your Granger Medical Clinic physician about ways you can create healthy changes in your lifestyle.