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Immunity-Boosting Tips for a Healthier Winter

(NC) We all have a good reason to say, “I can’t get sick right now.” Getting the flu obviously takes a toll on our physical health, but it can also interfere with our busy lives and the lives of others in our communities.  And, while it is difficult to find any absolute guarantee that you won’t get sick this flu season, Manvir Sohal, Rexall licensed pharmacist and district manager, offers up the following tips to incorporate into your daily routine to help you stay healthy. 

Get your flu shot: By far the best preventative measure you can take, getting the flu shot protects you and your loved ones from the forced down time being sick. Those with the weakest immune systems including children and the elderly are most at risk for complications up to and including hospitalization.  “Unfortunately, last year’s vaccine will not protect you again this year,” says Sohal. “While most people recover from the flu in seven to ten days, those with immature, or weakened immune systems, such as children, and seniors, are at higher risk. That’s why we encourage all eligible Canadians to get a flu shot, especially those who can’t afford to get sick or are around others with weaker immune systems.” 

Wash your hands well and often. Colds and the flu are spread most via direct contact, either from person to person or from person to object. Simply shaking hands with or touching the same door handle as an infected person can expose you to a virus. Your best defense is washing your hands well – for 20 seconds or more each time -- and washing them often.  

Drink lots of fluids. Staying sufficiently hydrated can help flush toxins from your system and keep your body healthy. Eight 8-oz glasses of water a day is commonly recommended for optimal hydration, but other fluids also count as long as they are not diuretics like coffee or tea.  

Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and many fresh vegetables are packed full of vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system. Try putting fresh lemon juice in your water, reaching for an orange or adding another serving of daily vegetables. You can find many of these items at your local pharmacy. 

Finally, get enough sleep. Sleep is your body’s time to recover from the stresses of your day, both mentally and physically. Get seven to eight hours each night whenever you can. “Sleep doesn’t just feel good,” says Sohal, “it’s our body’s way to clean up, rest and restore all of your defenses. Do your best to get as much as you can.” 

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