5 Things to Do to Prevent Getting Sick This New Year

Each year, cold and flu season hits earlier and harder than the previous year, leaving up to 41 million Americans with runny noses, sore throats, coughing fits, and fatigue. We do our best to keep up with hygiene practices, like washing our hands regularly, but that’s not always enough.

Many of us must take more preventative measures to avoid getting sick as we enter this New Year’s unforgiving flu season. Read on for wellness tips about ways to prevent getting sick in the New Year.

1. Stay Up-to-Date on Your Vaccines

The first step in how to not get sick is vaccinations. Vaccines are the best way to avoid viruses like the flu and COVID-19 this new year. Before flu season hits, everyone must be up-to-date on their vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot in October of each year if it is available in your area. Moreover, consider getting or boosting your and your family’s COVID-19 vaccinations to protect your body on all fronts.

2. Upgrade Your Diet

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Food nourishes your body to help it fight off the cold, the flu, and other common winter ailments. If possible, create a healthy meal plan incorporating more whole foods into your diet this flu season. Focus on foods that are high in vitamin C, zinc, and protein, like:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Beans and legumes
  • Chicken soup

If you have the opportunity, schedule a test to see whether your current diet leaves you deficient in any key nutrients. Then, you can speak with a dietician about staying healthy with diet upgrades or supplements.

3. Exercise to Prevent Getting Sick

Exercise is a great way to help boost your immune system. Recent studies show that regular exercise helps fight respiratory infections like COVID-19.

You can do many exercises to claim these benefits, so find what works best. Some options include running, walking, swimming, or playing sports with friends and family.

4. Eliminate Germs Often

Among the ways to prevent getting sick, cleanliness is among the most important. That goes for your home and your body. Disinfecting surfaces and having good hygiene habits can help reduce your risk of catching colds or the flu.

At home, remember to use disinfecting cleaners on all your surfaces and thoroughly wash your dishes after use. Moreover, practice good hygiene by washing your hands often with antibacterial soap.

5. Get Plenty of Sleep

Did you know that a lack of sleep can suppress your immune system? That’s because as you sleep, your body releases a specific type of cytokine (a protein secreted by cells in the immune system) to fight infections.

Your body also produces more white blood cells and antibodies as you sleep, reinforcing your immune system. So, getting a proper 8 hours of sleep (especially if there are signs you’re sick) will help you stay in tip-top shape.

Want More Ways to Prevent Getting Sick?

These are just five of the many ways to prevent getting sick this New Year. But staying healthy is a lifelong endeavor. If you want more information on how to avoid the flu and other types of illnesses all the time, look to the experts at Gardendale Primary Care.

If you want a consultation from one of our medical professionals, contact us today!