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How to Cope with Flu Season

12.02.14 | Medical Programs

Seasonal influenza, commonly known as the flu, can cause severe illness and can even be life-threatening. Each year, the flu can cause more than 200,000 people to be hospitalized. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.* Give your body the support it needs to cope with flu season by following these 6 preventative tips:

Get the flu shot
The best prevention against the flu is to get the flu shot.* Each year, before flu season hits, doctor offices, hospitals, and pharmacies administer the vaccine. This quick injection in your arm could potentially keep you flu free all winter long. There's still a possibility you could get sick even after being vaccinated, so do everything you can to keep yourself and others healthy.

Rest
Give your immune system the recharging it needs each night when you hit the pillow. Most healthcare professionals recommend between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to help your immune system fight off illnesses.** Even if you did receive the flu shot, other people around you - coworkers, family members, the person in front of you at the grocery store checkout, may not have, and contagious germs could still make you sick.

Nourish your body
Eat a balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables, which are packed with immune system boosters like Vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc.** Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Don't forget to stock up on chicken soup! That's right, chicken soup really is good for the body, as well as the soul. It not only tastes good, but it's soothing and helps fight infections and reduce inflammation.***

Exercise
Regular exercise is another simple way to help your immune system. Regular, moderate exercise is all it takes to help your immune system fight bacterial and viral infections.** Physical activity also helps with your overall health by improving blood circulation, preventing bone loss, and boosting energy levels.****

Just breathe!
Stress can harm your physical and mental health. Some ways to relieve stress include going to the gym, getting a massage, or relaxing with friends. A healthy mind and body will help keep you feeling your best all year long.

Prevent the spread of germs
Hand-washing is one of the most effective ways to combat the flu. The flu is contagious and can easily be spread by the germs on your hands. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, disinfect public surfaces like door knobs, and stay home from work and school if you're sick. Germs are everywhere, and when you're in close contact with others, whether on the subway or in a classroom, the germs are sure to spread.

The winter months bring people into close quarters where germs can spread much easier. That's why it's important to have knowledgeable medical professionals. If you want to help people, then get started in the medical field. YTI Career Institute offers many different programs that could suit your interests including Medical Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Respiratory Therapy, and much more!

Resources:
*http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm
**http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/10-immune-system-busters-boosters
***http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002067.htm
****http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/StartWalking/Physical-activity-improves-quality-of-life_UCM_307977_Article.jsp

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