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Although she doesn’t
want to discourage
anyone from getting a
flu shot, “regrettably,
it doesn’t offer protection from potential new strains of flu
during the season,
PHOTODISC and, as for other
germs, there is no vaccine available against
common cold viruses.”
Experts agree that the best option is prevention, which in addition to the annual flu
shot includes reducing risks and exposure
with the following proactive measures.
■ Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, using warm water and soap all over
the hands and fingers, and under fingernails.
Wash for at least 15 seconds.
■ Avoid putting your hands near your
eyes, nose or mouth. Most bacteria and germs
enter through these areas.
■ Strengthen your immune system with
balanced meals, enough sleep and health supplements.
■ Drink more water. You might not be
thirsty, but it is easy to get dehydrated in the
winter if you don’t make a point of drinking
eight glasses of water a day.
■ Exercise regularly. Maintain an exercise
program at least three or four days each week.
Consistency is key.
“The immune system is our internal
defence mechanism protecting us against germs like
viruses, bacteria and fungi,”
says Shan. “Many factors in
our daily lives such as stress,
fatigue, travel and exposure to
illness weaken our defences,
making us more vulnerable to
infection. This is especially
true for seniors. Clinical studies indicate that taking mat-
ters into your own hands will go a long way to
keeping you healthy.”—JTJ
Recommended Dietary Allowances
(RDAs) are published by the Food and
Nutrition Board of the Institute of
Medicine, part of the National Academy
of Sciences, which establishes goals
rather than requirements for healthy persons. Different guidelines are established
for 16 different age and gender groups.