If you are searching for a single new year’s resolution that will bring you good health and peace of mind in 2020 you might consider getting a flu shot as soon as possible. Even the most robust and healthy people risk being brought to their knees by the nasty flu bug that began circulating last fall.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can be mild to severe with symptoms that include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, dry cough, sore throat and runny nose.  People with the flu may feel nauseous and have vomiting and diarrhea, although these symptoms are more common in children than adults. Flu can lead to pneumonia and other serious illnesses for people who are particularly vulnerable.

November through March is Flu Season in the United States. While a flu shot is the best protection against the virus, there are several other ways to help avoid the flu:

  • Try to avoid contact with people who are obviously sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick. That means the gym too! Working out while you are sick will cause more harm than good.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Washing your hands often is the most effective way to avoid spreading germs.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes to help keep germs from entering your body.

It is especially important for people who fall into one of the following high- risk categories outlined by the Centers for Disease Control to get a flu shot:

  • Children age 6-59 months and their household contacts and out of home care givers.
  • Women who are pregnant.
  • People aged 50 or older.
  • People of any age who have certain chronic medical conditions including HIV.
  • People who live with or care for anyone at high risk.
  • Health care workers.

Those at high risk should contact their primary care physicians to discuss where and when to get the flu shot.

Some Healthy Measures to Ward Off the “Bug”.

  • Get lots of fresh air. Take fresh air breaks at work and invest in some leafy plants for your work space.
  • Get adequate sleep (8-10 hours, uninterrupted) to give your body time to repair, replenish, and detoxify itself.
  • Keep stress in check, as it can depress the immune system worse than any other single factor.
  • Don’t forget your workouts, stay consistent with the gym and doing cardio-vascular exercise: daily exercise helps to boost your immune system.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to ensure proper hydration.
  • Eat lots of brightly colored veggies and fruits loaded in vitamin “C” to help keep your immune system strong.
  • Stay away from fast food and sugary junk foods, besides the extra fat and empty calories, these foods can drag your immune system down.