It’s that time of year again and there’s all sorts of media coverage designed to strike fear in our hearts about the coming flu season.

So what can you do to minimize your risk of getting the flu?

Of course there’s the option of getting the flu vaccine, but there is a lot of uncertainty around its safety and efficiency.  I have to say that most of the people I have seen in the last month with flu or flu-like symptoms have had the vaccine in the previous two weeks. So if you do decide to get the vaccine you still have to take steps to fortify your immune system.

Adults can be contiguous the day before getting symptoms (and up to five days after becoming ill) so you may be exposed to ill people without knowing it!

One simple and effective way to help protect yourself is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Here are some ways you can help maintain a healthy, well-functioning immune system because that is your best defense.

1.       Optimising your gut flora:

            This could be the single most important strategy, as your gut bacteria has an enormous role in your immune response.  The easiest way to do this is to avoid sugars and processed foods, and of course, have a healthy diet of fresh foods.  Probiotics such as (Innerhealth Plus) can also be of benefit in balancing your gut flora.

2.       Optimise your Vitamin D levels:

              Vitamin D is essential for a good immune system. It has been suggested that one of the reasons for the seasonality of the flu is that lower sun exposure means lower Vitamin D levels.  So,  if you can’t get sun exposure, you may need to take an oral Vitamin D3 supplement.

3.       Get Plenty of Rest:

              Obviously, the better rested you are, the better your immunity is.

4.       Get Regular Exercise:

Exercise circulates the blood through the body, and is necessary for better circulation through the immune system.

And of course if you do get ill, make sure you stay warm, rested and hydrated and stay away from people to help avoid spreading it further. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg.  There are other things that can help improve your immune system, including getting your Spine checked by a Chiropractor.

If anyone wants to add to the list please go ahead.  We’d love to hear other helpful ideas!