With autumn currently in full swing and winter just around the corner, Australians across the country are trading in their beach wear for knitwear and swapping white wine for a warming liqueur. However, in combination with lower temperatures and unpredictable weather, autumn can often become a catalyst for health concerns including the common cold and more serious cases of influenza. Statistics have shown that influenza alone claims an average 3500 lives annually and with the elderly more likely to fall victim to seasonal illnesses, health experts are strongly encouraging elderly residents to keep their health at the top of their priorities.
Registered nurse and Founder of Prestige Inhome Care Nick McDonald says that in order to maintain top health during notorious flu seasons, prevention is often better than a cure.
“There are many simple and effective ways Australians can boost their immune system in the lead up to flu seasons, making them less likely to contracts illnesses or lessen the severity and duration of symptoms,” Nick says.
To help Australians safeguards their health this season and next, Nick’s tips are:
Soak up Vitamin D: Embrace the outdoors by spending at least 20 minutes in the sun and your body will thank you for it. Basking (safely) in the sun helps increase Vitamin D production which in turn boosts your immune system. If grey skies are raining on your parade, turn to Vitamin D rich foods like salmon, tuna and eggs yolks to give your immune system the extra kick it needs.
Eat ‘bright’ and stay hydrated: As the days get cooler, it’s tempting to turn to processed foods and skip that glass of water for a coffee. Instead, fuel your body with fresh, bright fruits and vegetables to help boost your immune system by giving it the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Don’t let the cooler months trick you in to thinking you’re not thirsting because you’re not sweating. Your body needs as much water in winter as it does in summer so drink up!
Get your heart pumping: Resist the temptation to stay inside during winter by doing light, non-strenuous exercise outdoors. A short walk or a light sport (like tennis) is a great way to socialise, boost your immune system and soak up Vitamin D. Talk about a triple-threat!
Consider vaccinations: Those over the age of 65 are eligible for the flu vaccine as part of the government’s public immunisation program and are able to get their vaccine from April 20. Ask your local GP for more information!
So, to help keep your immune system working like a well-oiled machine this autumn, follow these simple steps!
Did you find these suggestions helpful? Do you usually get sick when the season changes? Share with us below.