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Health Here's how to get through flu season this year without getting sick

02:31  06 may  2018
02:31  06 may  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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The flu is no joke. It can knock you about for days and make you feel rotten the whole time. Discount Drug Stores pharmacist, Melissa Hui, has some tips to help survive the impending flu season so that you can try and come out the other end unscathed.

Winter forces us to spend more time indoors. More time indoors with other people makes it easier for disease to spread and that's when the flu strikes.

Taking steps to minimise your chances of getting the flu is always a good idea. So Discount Drug Stores pharmacist, Melissa Hui, has offered up five simple tips to take care of yourself during the flu season. You're probably already doing some of these but it never hurts to have a reminder.

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“There are no silver bullets here .” Get the flu shot. Health experts can’t say it enough: Get the flu shot. Fall is generally considered the best time of the year to get the vaccine “To avoid getting sick , try to reduce the number of times you bring your hands up to your face, and also make sure that when

Make hygiene a top priority

As obvious as it seems, making a conscious effort to wash your hands and wash them properly makes a big difference.

"The flu virus can easily spread and is most commonly caught through the nose and eyes," Ms Hui said. Washing your hands helps reduce the chances of incidental hand contact passing the virus from hand to face.

Get vaccinated

"With 2017 being one of the nation’s worst flu seasons on record, it’s vital that people book in for a quick and easy flu vaccination to safeguard themselves and those around them against the flu," Ms Hui said.

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This year children between six months and four years old qualify for free flu vaccines across most of Australia. People aged 65 and over as well as pregnant women are eligible for free flu vaccines through the National Immunisation Program.

Even if you're not part of one of those groups, you should still head down to your local pharmacy to get a shot from a qualified pharmacist or nurse practitioner.

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Exercise regularly

"Research has shown that those individuals who partake in 30 minutes of moderate activity at least three times a week have stronger immune systems," said Ms Hui. Yoga or going for a walk are both great low-impact ways to get some daily exercise.

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The proportion of people who get sick from flu varies. A paper published in CIDexternal icon found that between 3% and 11% of the U. S . population gets infected and develops flu symptoms each year . The 3% estimate is from the 2011-2012 season , which was an H1N1-predominant season classified as

Ensure you’re getting enough sleep

Sleep is important and with the busy lives people live it can be hard to get enough.

Getting a good night's rest is well worth it. According to Ms Hui, "Getting an average 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night will improve the body’s health and wellbeing, allowing it to maintain appropriate immune function and diminishing your chance of an infection or illness."

Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables

Antioxidants and essential vitamins found in fruit and vegetables aren't a miracle cure but they are helpful in boosting your immune system. "Green vegetables, berries, mushrooms and onions are a few healthy foods that help build and nourish your immune system. Try adding some berries to plain yoghurt or adding another handful of green veggies to your lunch or dinner for a great nutrient kick," says Ms Hui.

There's no sure-fire way to avoid the flu. I guess you could seal yourself away in a sterile bunker but that somehow seems worse than catching the flu. Taking these simple steps is a much more reasonable approach.

Pictures: 20 Habits That Slash Your Flu Risk

  Here's how to get through flu season this year without getting sick 20 Habits That Slash Your Flu Risk

Slideshow provided by Best Life

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