7 Tips to Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season Tuesday, September 28, 2021 Fall has officially arrived! Unfortunately, so has the start of the cold and flu season. With kids back in school and events moving indoors, the fall can bring a flurry of germs. Boost and sustain your immune system with consistent personal hygiene, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. Take advantage of the fall festivities – leaf peeping, pumpkin painting, or baking with fresh apples – by putting your health first with a few small changes. Don’t let a stuffed up nose stop you from enjoying the autumn season with these eight tips: 1. Wash Your Hands Regularly The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before eating or after using the restroom. Take it a step further by adding it to your routine when arriving home in order to keep germs out of your living space. 2. Keep Your Home Clean Cold viruses can live on objects and surfaces for up to a week. Increase your cleaning routines during the cold and flu season to keep those pesky germs away. Focus your efforts on living spaces and bathrooms, especially after guests have visited your home. 3. Limit Contact With Family or Friends Experiencing Cold Symptoms The common cold can be infectious for up to two weeks until symptoms are fully gone. If you know a friend or family member is not feeling well, consider postponing their visit or swapping to a digital alternative like video chatting. 4. Consult Your Doctor If you are feeling run down or sluggish, consult your doctor about vitamins you may benefit from taking. Stay on top of your health with regular screenings for preventative illnesses like cancer and diabetes during your visits. 5. Enjoy Fresh Air and Movement Keep your muscles strong with regular exercise. The CDC suggests “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.” Increase your Vitamin D by getting outside for some fresh air and sunlight. 6. Focus on a Balanced Diet Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid processed foods and increase your water consumption to lower your sugar intake. 7. Prioritize Your Sleep Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep to let your body rest and recharge. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, create a sleep schedule and stick to it by waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Limiting blue light exposure from electronic devices and decreasing caffeine intake may also help. 8. Wear a Mask If you’re feeling run down or visiting a crowded area, contemplate wearing a mask to limit your exposure to cold and flu viruses, as well as other germs that may be in the air. With a few healthy choices, you can enjoy the fall season safely. Willow River is Here to Help At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring during the colder months. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 to start the conversation today.