When someone asks, what’s your favourite season, I’m sure that flu season is never anyone’s answer. And here we are right in the midst of it. Of course, you can get the flu any time of the year but it spikes right about now. Kids are back in school sharing close quarters and germs and then they bring them home to the rest of their family. All of us are spending more time indoors when the colder weather starts and those germs take advantage and spread. Did you know that in 2015, more than 5,000 Canadians were hospitalized with the flu, including more than 1,500 kids?
That’s why I’m so excited to have partnered with Loblaws as part of their Flu Crew to bring you this sponsored post about how you can protect your family from the flu.
I’ve lived through my daughter having the flu so badly that she nearly needed to be hospitalized and me having the flu so badly while at a conference that the hotel maid ended up taking care of me because I had such a high fever that I was delirious. Since both of us have auto-immune disorders, we are at high risk of having serious complications if we contract the flu so I’m even more cautious than ever. That’s why I was really excited when Loblaw invited me to join their Flu Crew and help spread the word about what steps you can take to protect your family this flu season.
You can find all kinds of advice out there on how to help prevent getting the flu but I’ve narrowed it down to 5 main tips. These are the basics folks, and following just these simple hints can definitely increase your chances of keeping those nasty flu germs away. Best of all, you can find support for implementing most of these at your local Loblaws, Zehrs or Real Canadian Superstore.
5 Tips for Protecting Your Family This Flu Season
1) Get plenty of rest. No this isn’t your typical get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids speech. That’s the one you hear AFTER you get sick. Have you ever noticed how often the flu happens at the WORST possible moment? Not like there’s a good time for it to happen, but it always seems to be when you’re under deadline or when you’re running around like crazy, right? That’s because you’re worn down. You’re not getting adequate sleep and it’s taken a toll on your body, making you more susceptible to the flu.
2) Eat nutrient rich foods. We want to feed our families healthy foods all year long but it’s extra important during flu season. We need all the allies we can get in our fight against illness and it’s easy to overlook just how important the proper nutrients are. Vitamin C and E are antioxidants that are vital for maintaining our good health. Zinc and Vitamin A have been shown to help with immune function. Protein helps to build and repair body tissues and antibodies. At Loblaw stores, not only is there a great selection of delicious, nutritious foods but they have an on-site dietitian who can help you build a diet for flu season. Need some ideas on how to incorporate those healthy foods into your family’s diet? They also have cooking classes to teach you how to make delicious, nutritious meals.
3) Get your flu shot. The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. I’m speaking from experience here. Of course it’s not a 100% guaranteed preventative but it can really give you a good shot (pun intended) of avoiding the flu. Prior to getting the shots, I got the flu at least twice a year. In the past 20 years of getting them, I have only had the flu once. That’s a winning record if you ask me. Flu shots are available through in-store pharmacists at Loblaws, Zehrs, and Real Canadian Superstore locations across the country starting in mid-October.
4) Keep the surfaces that people touch the most in your home and at work as clean as possible. Think door knobs, light switches, computer keyboards, and phones.
5) Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Wash your hands. Okay so this might not directly protect you from the flu, althoughit can certainly help your family and friends so hear me out. If we can make this a habit with everyone, we will all benefit. What are the best ways to cover your mouth? The Canadian Lung Association advises that you sneeze or cough into a tissue or into your elbow (they call it the Dracula move).
If you must do it into your hand (it’s still reflex for some!), be sure to wash your hands immediately after and don’t touch anything – and that includes, your own eyes, face, nose, mouth! Speaking of washing your hands, do you know how to do it properly? No, seriously! I’ve seen so many people give their hands a cursory 5 second rinse under the water and call them clean. That’s not enough. According to Health Canada, you need to lather your hands with regular soap for a minimum of 15 seconds, followed by a thorough rinsing. Full details on how to properly wash your hands for good health are here.
So, what will you do to protect your health this flu season?
Head to your local Loblaws, Zehrs, or Real Canadian Superstore location and book an appointment with their in-store dietitian. While you’re there, pop by the pharmacy for your flu shot. Come back to Creative Cynchronicity to follow along on my Flu Prevention Journey as part of the Loblaw Flu Crew. I’ll be visiting my dietitian to get great tips on choosing nutrient rich foods to boost my immune system, attending a cooking class to learn more about healthy recipes I can prepare for my family, and of course, getting my flu shot.