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How to Get Ready for Flu Season Now: 10 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Sep. 7 2023, Published 4:59 p.m. ET

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In just a few short weeks, the deadly flu season will be upon us. but there's still time to arm yourself against the sniffles, runny nose, itchy eyes, aches and pains The fall season may have in store for many of us.

Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a comprehensive list of things you can do right now to stay fit and healthy and help prevent any time lost suffering on the sofa. Just follow these simple steps.

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1. Get your flu vaccine each year.

It's the single best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or schedule an appointment online to get this year's vaccine.

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2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you have someone in your family with the flu, be sure to keep them isolated from other family members and wash hands after close contact.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

You can use all those COVID-19 masks again. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Protect yourself!

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4. Wash your hands.

Cleaning your hands often will protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

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5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs can spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

6. Clean and disinfect.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched or surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

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7. Get plenty of sleep.

When you catch your Zzzzs, that's when your body has a chance to repair itself and get stronger. Don't cheat yourself with late night TV or even a good book. Your health is more important.

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8. Stay physically active.

During the day, be sure to get outside to get the benefit of the sun's rays and the vitamin D that goes with them. When you walk, your respiratory system will get cleansed with the fresh air you breathe in.

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9. Drink plenty of fluids.

It's a good idea to start your day with a big glass of water before you even eat breakfast. This will hydrate and cleanse your system, preparing you and your digestive system for the day ahead. During the day, take advantage of the large variety of fruit juices — apple, blueberry and cherry — available at this time of the year and drink them instead of soda.

10. Eat nutritious foods.

Yes, there is plenty of Halloween candy floating around the house this time of year, but try to limit your personal consumption of the sugary goodies. Fresh fruits and vegetables do a lot more to help your body ward off a nasty bout of flu than some peanut butter cups.


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