Mountain View Medical Supply

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to Winterize Your Health

Now that temperatures have dropped and we are bundling up as we leave in the morning, it's important to remember cold and flu season is here.  Young children and senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to the spread of colds, viral and bacterial infections.  But, there are steps we can all take to stay healthy throughout the winter season.

Wash Your Hands Frequently
Proper and frequent hand washing is an effective way to avoid spreading germs.  Just 15 to 20 seconds of hand washing (or enough time to sing Happy Birthday), using water and soap can reduce the rist of transmitting germs and diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hand washing is the single most important means of preventing infection from spreading.  If you don't have access to a sink, hand sanitizer is another good option.
Vaccines not only protect vulnerable young children and older adults, but others who need protection due to immunity disorders or other illnesses.  Make sure children are up to date on all of their vaccinations, and seniors are up to date on boosters and vaccinations that prevent illnesses such as shingles and pneumonia.
Sick?  Stay home
If you have a fever, bad cough, or are vomiting or have diarrhea, make sure to stay home.  Not only does staying home provide needed rest for recovery and help prevent the spread of illness and disease to others, but when a person has one illness, they are predisposed to getting another.  Staying home prevents “back to back” illness.
Get a Flu Shot
Along with regular vaccinations, the flu shot is a good way to reduce your risk of catching the flu, or worse, developing more serious complications from the flu.  The flu vaccination is recommended for all people 6 months and older.  A nasal spray is also available, instead of a shot.  Contact your doctor or county health department for a list of places where the vaccine is available near you.  Depending on your age, some places offer low cost or no cost flu shots to senior citizens.
Get Enough Sleep
Children and senior adults especially need enough sleep.  Children need about 8-10 hours of sleep, and seniors need about 7-9 hours of sleep so they have enough energy to fight off infection.  Try to keep a nighttime schedule and routine to remain well-rested. 
Physical Activity
Even when it’s cold outside, it’s important to find ways to exercise and stay healthy.  At least 30 minutes of exercise a day can boost your immune system, help you live longer and maintain an active life.  Simple moves can be done indoors at home.  For example, jumping jacks (or stepping jacks), running in place (or stepping in place), dancing, and of course home exercise videos and games such as Nintendo Wii can get your heart pumping.

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