(NC)—When the cold weather sets in and daylight hours diminish, many people begin to feel fatigued and worn-down. Is it possible to keep energy levels up and maintain good health during a time of year when seasonal illnesses like influenza are common? The answer is yes. By taking the time to learn some simple preventative steps, you can stay healthy this coming influenza season.
Yearly immunization is the primary method for managing the spread of influenza. By simply getting an influenza immunization, you can reduce your risk of contracting influenza by 70 to 90 per cent. Research also shows that immunizing children over the age of six months reduces influenza symptoms in all household members by about 42 per cent. And, as respiratory infection spreads primarily through children and teenagers, immunizing all household members reduces fever and illness symptoms by up to 80 per cent.
Proper Hand Hygiene & Other Tips
Frequent and proper hand hygiene is also important in preventing the spread of influenza. Since everything we touch is potentially covered with germs, it is important not to bring one's hands in contact with one's mouth, eyes or nose before cleansing thoroughly with soap and warm water. This is the method used by nurses and other health professionals when dealing with sick people to prevent themselves from getting sick as well. Also, try to stay away from people who are sick; stay home when you are feeling ill; face into your upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing to prevent transmission, and try to keep common surfaces at work and home clean.
Exercise helps re-energize! The next time you feel tired and low on energy do 15-20 minutes of regular exercise. This not only wakes you up, it also reduces stress, improves circulation and stimulates the immune system. Studies show that exercise can have a profound effect on one's mood and emotions.
Food is your main source of energy, so evaluate your diet as a whole. Do you eat three meals a day? It is impossible to maximize your health and energy levels if you are skipping meals. You need to keep refueling your body throughout the day. Try to eat a wide variety of foods to make sure you are receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. It is also important to consume the proper amounts of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, protein and fats. Check out Canada's Food Guide for helpful dietary information.
Many of us tend to make sleep a low priority and end up depriving ourselves of much-needed rest. Try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and you will feel your alertness and energy levels increase.
Talk to your health care provider about your “stay healthy” plan and visit www.gettheflushot.ca for more information on influenza immunizations and details on where to find an influenza immunization clinic in your area.
- News Canada