It’s that time of year again! For many of us, this means shorter days, colder weather, and sometimes, sicknesses. Feeling under the weather, particularly with cold or flu symptoms can easily sneak up on you and your family this time of year. So, how can you ensure that everyone in your household stays healthy? We spoke with Dr. Amy Oksa, a pediatrician with Sanford Health in Dickinson, ND, to learn the best tips and tricks!
- Get enough sleep. Yes, adults too! Lack of quality sleep can weaken your immune system. Sleeping the recommended number of hours each night helps keep your immune system strong and ready to target invading infections and inflammation. Check out the sleep recommendations for all ages here.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps keep your body hydrated and keeps you functioning at an optimal level. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of drinking water.
- Eat nutritious foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that help keep your immune system strong. For example, kiwis, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, and red peppers are great sources of Vitamin C. Curious about what other foods are good fuel for your body? Check out this chart!
- Be physically active. Physical activity is great for overall health, such as keeping your heart strong and helping protect against chronic diseases. Additionally, physical activity supports a strong immune system. You can get in some movement right now with a fitBoost or fitFlow!
- Wash your hands often. A few crucial times to wash your hands throughout the day include: before eating, after using the restroom, after using a tissue, and after being outside. Scrubbing your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to get clean hands. If water and soap are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative. For more information on hand washing and hand sanitizers, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Routinely sanitize or disinfect commonly used surfaces. Some examples are doorknobs, light switches, changing tables, restroom areas, and countertops. For more information about sanitizers and disinfectants, visit American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Get vaccinated. According to Dr. Oksa, vaccinations for Influenza, COVID, Pneumococcus, and RSV can keep your family healthy. Before getting any vaccinations, be sure to follow the recommended CDC guidelines and consult with your or your child’s primary care provider.
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