Fall and the Flu



Here’s some great advice from O’Meara Financial Group

Fall brings the end of daylight savings time and the beginning of flu season.  What can you do to fight against disease?  Medical professionals say that boosting your immune system – your body’s build-in defense against disease – with good food, plentiful exercise, and sufficient sleep can help, too.

 Katherine Tallmadge, national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says nutrition profoundly affects our ability to fight disease. If you want to stay healthy this winter, it’s a good idea to eat:

  •  Lean protein, like chicken, fish, and fat-free dairy products, because the molecules that help us stay healthy are made of protein.
  •  Good fat that is found in olive oil, canola oil, and nuts can help your cells function better and fight disease
  •  Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are key players because they contain antioxidants which help us stay healthy.

 Regular exercise also helps boost your immune system and keep illness at bay.  Just don’t overdo it, especially as you get older.  Thirty minutes of light to moderate exercise a day is enough to keep your immune system strong.

  •  Walk anywhere and everywhere.  All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes.
  •  Take a class at the YMCA, a senior center, or a local gym.  Try water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi – or all of them.
  •  Watch television.  Chances are that your kids or grandkids have a Wii, PlayStation, or Xbox.  Each of these systems offers exercise programs that let you work out at home.

 Studies show that lack of sleep makes us more susceptible to colds and flu viruses. If you don’t sleep like a log every night consider these sleep tips from Helpguide.org:

  •  Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid big meals or spicy foods late at night.
  • Have a light snack before bedtime.
  • Use a relaxation technique to prepare for sleep.

 If all else fails, keep the chicken soup handy.  If you fall ill despite your best efforts, remember the chicken soup.  It’s not a wives tale.  According to the Mayo Clinic, chicken soup has anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning effects which can soothe when you get sick