Autumn has well and truly arrived, which means a few things: kids are back in school, skimpy Halloween costumes are back, you will have to contend with Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s the start of cold and flu season. With all those elements in play, how do you stay healthy?
First, cold and flu season is no joke. Get a flu shot. If you do nothing else to prepare for cold and flu season, do this. It’s your first, best defence against the flu. Second, practise proper hand-washing. At the gym, wipe down your machines when you’re finished using them. Carry hand sanitizer. Here are some cute ones that smell good and moisturize your skin.
You can also plan ahead for cold and flu season by simply buying everything you’ll need ahead of time. Stock up on these items:
- Over-the-counter cold and flu medicine
- Cough syrup
- Cough drops or lozenges
- Neti pots or other nasal aspirators
- Gatorade or other electrolyte-enhanced beverages
- Cans of soup
- Epsom salts
- Boxed tissues
- Cold packs for reducing fever
- Heat wraps for aches and pains
Someday, you will need all of these items. It’s okay if you don’t need them right away. But when you do, you’ll be glad you have a designated supply set aside. It may even be helpful to pitch all of these items in the same box, and clearly label it “COLD & FLU.” That way you’ll find everything easily, and anyone who’s helping you won’t have to dig through three different drawers trying to find the right thing.
In the meantime, keep your health up by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating whole, nutritious foods. This is still possible in the fall, when seasonal produce changes. Play around with this list of autumnal salads from Martha Stewart, or this related list of vegetable side dishes. Incorporating recipes like these is a great way of making sure that you’re consuming enough vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which will go a long way toward keeping you healthy and happy this fall.