Flu season tends to be one of the most dreaded times of year. Lucky for all of us, Dr. Kulwinder Mann, the Medical Director at River District Medical, has some great advice of how you can try to avoid getting taken out by the common cold or flu this year.
How do you get the flu?
The flu is a respiratory acquired virus, meaning it’s airborne. So if you’re near someone who has the flu and they cough, or someone coughs into their hands, it’s easy for the virus to transmit. You also increase your risk of flu by touching your mouth and eyes with out washing your hands.
What are your best tips to stay healthy in the cold weather?
As the days get shorter, our stress levels also change. I recommend exercising in the morning, staying hydrated, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting a good night’s sleep, and healthy stress management keeps your immune system supported. And of course, get your flu shot every year!
The flu shot gets updated each year by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Through research they determine which three or four viruses that are will most likely predominant during flu season. It’s always a good idea to get a flu shot.
Should you still get a flu shot if you rarely get the flu?
Yes, the likelihood of getting the flu will depend on your health and everyone’s bodies are different. I would say that even if you don’t usually get the flu, it’s still a good idea to get the shot, for the sake of people around you who may be more vulnerable. (like seniors, or children) By getting the flu shot, you’re keeping potentially vulnerable people safe through herd immunity. For example, in a class of 20 kids, if one kid doesn’t have the flu shot, they likely won’t get the flu because the other kids would be more immune to the flu.
Does exercising in the morning make a difference over exercising in the evening?
There isn’t any big difference… it just depends on the individual. Exercise releases endorphins, by exercising in the morning you will improve your mood and support your immune system for the entire day. Some find it hard to exercise after they’ve had a long day’s of work. Personally, exercising in the evening makes it difficult for me to fall asleep. Just find what’s right for your schedule to make sure you’re getting in exercise.
Any secret food or vitamin hacks?
Not really… Some people like taking Vitamin C when they’re sick to support their immune system. It’s a good idea but you don’t need to take something with such a high dosage. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is enough.
Maintaining healthy habits is the best prevention against catching the flu.
If you do catch a cold or the flu, what’s your best advice on curing it faster?
There isn’t one way of curing the flu faster; everyone’s body and immune system is different. Generally maintaining the same healthy habits as above will ensure your body recovers smoothly. Sometimes when you’re sick, you’ll have less of an appetite, so just make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough sleep.
Want more information on flu season?
You can get more information on flu season and where to get flu shots at River District Medical. They are located at 3478 Sawmill Cresent, Vancouver.