Getting Ahead of Cold and Flu Season

Getting Ahead of Cold and Flu Season

The ResBiotic Team The ResBiotic Team
5 minute read

It's that time of the year again when the weather starts to cool, the days shorten, and people begin to look forward to the holiday season. With all the excitement that comes in the fall and winter months, we also have to prepare ourselves for another cold and flu season. You may have heard the term “tripledemic” being used recently. Let’s separate the myths from the facts, and break down a few simple tips to keep your respiratory system healthy so you don’t miss out on anything in the coming months.

What is this “tripledemic” exactly?

The trending term “tripledemic” is referring to the triple threat of flu, COVID-19 virus, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). According to the CDC, flu season has come earlier than usual for most parts of the country this year. Doctors are also seeing a substantial rise in the number of pediatric respiratory illnesses, specifically RSV. We have yet to see a significant spike in  COVID-19 infections, but health professionals predict we may see an increase around the holiday season, as we have the past two years. 

What can we do to stay healthy?

The mere thought of getting sick can be worrisome for people, but there are many ways to get ahead of a virus.  Here are some simple tips to keep yourself and those around you healthy this cold and flu season.

  1. Wash your hands often - It may seem silly and self-explanatory to hear someone say “wash your hands regularly,” right? Well, the estimated global rate of people who wash their hands after going to the bathroom is only 19%. That number contributes to the spread of many gastrointestinal and respiratory viruses. Washing your hands with soap and water is crucial to staying healthy and removing bacteria. Washing your hands before eating, after touching communal items or spaces, and especially after coughing or sneezing, can lower your risk of getting certain viruses. Pro Tip: Invest in some quality hand lotion to keep your skin from getting too dry.

  2. Get a flu shot - Flu shots have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, degree of severity, and flu-related death. Flu vaccines are designed to cause antibodies to develop in the body that can then provide protection against four different types of influenza virus. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months or older receives a flu shot each season, with some rare exceptions. More information regarding flu vaccines can be found here. 

  3. Rest and Recharge - We all know that getting enough sleep is important for most everyday functions, but did you know people who get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, and suffer from longer recovery times? In this CDC study, subjects restricted sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 days, then changed to 12 hours of sleep for 7 days. This sleep pattern led to a 50% decrease in the production of antibodies to the flu shot. For most adults, 7-8 hours of sleep is optimal, while children need much more. Sleep quality can be as important as quantity. Click here to explore easy breathing exercises you can use for better sleep tonight.

  4. Fuel your body’s natural defenses - While no specific food will cure or prevent you from getting sick, eating more of the foods that are high in certain vitamins and nutrients can lead to increased immune function. Research has shown a correlation between vitamin C and increased amounts of white blood cells. Foods that are high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, cruciferous vegetables, and tomatoes. Zinc is thought to boost your immune system and encourage a speedy recovery if you do get sick. Foods that are high in zinc include shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Other ingredients that you should add to your grocery list include garlic, ginger, and turmeric. 

  5. Try a probiotic - Although most people take probiotics to regulate their gut health, research has shown that certain probiotics can also have a direct effect on your immune and respiratory systems..Roughly 70% of your immune system is actually in your gut, and beneficial bacteria have been known to play a key role in a healthy immune response. In the last decade, doctors and scientists have also developed probiotic products to target the dynamic connections between gut and lung health. resB Lung Support is one such product that supports lung health and immunity through the gut-lung axis. If you are searching for a probiotic that has targeted benefits to support your immune system, you can learn more at www.resbiotic.com.

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