Preventing the Flu: Tips to Stay Flu-Free this Year

Posted by in Expert Advice, Health and Fitness.

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Get flu prevention tips from Senior Lifestyle. Stand a better chance at enjoying a healthy season and take steps towards preventing the flu.

One of the realities of getting older is that our immune systems begin to change and weaken. Because of this, being aware of flu prevention strategies is essential for older adults. While most people who get the flu do not need to seek the help of medical care or prescription drugs, those over 65 who contract the flu are significantly more likely to experience serious health complications and require such help. For older adults with a weakened immune system, the flu can result in hospitalization and further health issues like pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections. According to the CDC, it can also worsen the effects of chronic health problems, like asthma, neurological conditions, heart disease, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Read our tips to help with preventing the flu this year, so that you can stay healthy and on the move.

While many will tell stories or relate dubious facts about the flu vaccine’s effectiveness, there is no debate to be had:

• The flu vaccine is the single strongest method of flu prevention there is.
• It is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year, however it is particularly important for flu prevention in older adults for the reasons stated above.
• Talk to your doctor to make sure that the flu vaccine is a safe and effective flu prevention option for you this year.

One other simple way to help with preventing the flu is to avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you know someone is sick, keep your distance and let them recover before coming into contact with them. The same goes for when you are sick. Stay home to avoid spreading your illness to others around you.

Frequent handwashing is still one of the most important flu prevention strategies there is. No matter how hard you try to avoid them, you’re always going to be exposed to germs. Protect yourself by washing your hands regularly with antibacterial hand soap. You should also avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes—or food that you’re eating—without having recently washed your hands. This is the most common way to ingest the germs that can make you sick.

Living a healthy lifestyle and making good choices year-round can also help with preventing the flu during flu season. Getting regular exercise, not smoking, effectively managing your stress, and maintaining a healthy diet are all habits that can go a long way to helping your immune system to stay strong in flu prevention.
All in all, the steps you can take in preventing the flu are not terribly complex. With a little bit of diligence and responsibility, you can improve your chances of avoiding the flu and enjoying a healthy season.

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