6 Tips for Avoiding the Flu for Women Over 50

By on March 1, 2016

Because the immune system typically weakens with age, the risk for complications caused by the flu is much greater for the elderly than it is for younger people. It’s essential for the elderly to take extra precautions when it comes to preventing illness. Even if you don’t yet consider yourself an elderly person, there are still special steps you can be taking to prevent the flu if you’re a woman over 50.

  1. Get Your Flu Vaccine

The best step you can take to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Since the virus changes and evolves to produce new strains, it’s important to get your flu shot every single year. If you’re over 65, you might benefit from the flu shot designed especially for the elderly, which is even more powerful than a regular flu shot.

  1. Get a B12 Shot

In addition to the flu vaccine, you can strengthen your immune system by getting a shot of vitamin B12. This is especially a good idea if you don’t already get enough B12 from your diet.

Not only does B12 help boost your immune system, but it also protects your body in many other ways. B12 can strengthen your nervous system, improve digestion, and keep your metabolism in check.

  1. Stay Active

Remember that physical exercise plays a huge role in keeping your immune system healthy. Getting up and moving helps circulate white blood cells around your body more efficiently, which is key for keeping your immune system strong.

Even light and moderate amounts of exercise will give your body the boost it needs to fight off illness, so don’t think you have to join a health club to be properly active. Daily walks and living room exercises can be a great place to start. If you do opt to join a gym, be sure they treat pools and aquacisers with the proper chemicals, keep sanitizing wipes by equipment, and regularly wipe down exercise mats.The bacteria in sweat can make the healthiest person sick, so choose a gym that prioritizes cleanliness.

  1. Practice Good Personal Hygiene

Be sure to bathe and wash your hands regularly during flu season, especially if you live in a crowded place like a retirement community or with a large family.

Pay extra attention to the potential germs around you. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with your hands. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid other people that might be sick.

  1. If You’re a Caregiver, Be Especially Vigilant

The average family caretakeris a female around 50 years old. If you care for an ill or elderly loved one, be sure to make hygiene a bigger emphasis come flu season.

One of the easiest ways to stay on top of your loved one’s hygiene is to keep a regular bathing regimen. If the action is done at the same time every day, you’re both more likely to stick to it. Keep sanitizing wipes, spray, or gel available to both of you at all times, especially if one of you starts to feel ill. The last thing you want is to transmit germs back and forth!

  1. Take Action Early

If you feel like you might be coming down with the flu, know that the earlier you take action, the better your potential for recovery.

Don’t be a hero or try to wait it out–go see a doctor immediately if you start noticing flu symptoms like aching joints, dry coughing, or fatigue.

If you do become ill, avoid using only home remedies. Depending on your age and current level of health, your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not you should be taking antiviral or antibiotic drugs. Remember that the sooner you seek treatment for the flu, the sooner you can be back to your old self again.

By Patricia Sarmiento

Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

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6 Tips for Avoiding the Flu for Women Over 50