As the transition of seasons progress, it is wise to remember that not only is fall and winter known as football season but cold and flu season as well.

Football season is on the radar, but with football comes the changes in the weather. The hot temperatures begin to decrease and the wind kicks up irritants in the air. Seasons switch from summer sun to fall leaves, which causes a stir in many immune systems.

There is no need to attend the “game of the week” with a stuffy nose and a hacking cough. though. Germs are easily spread and can quickly attack the immune system if certain precautions are not taken.

Dorothy Foltz Gray of Parent Magazine from parents.com gives tips on how to stay well during the upcoming seasonal changes. These tips may be helpful to eliminate the need to purchase NyQuil and throat lozenges.

These nine tips are reminders to keep in mind as the temperatures drop below the usual eighty and ninety degrees we become accustomed to having.

Number one: it is very important to wash your hands frequently. The hands come in contact with many objects and areas that are easy to pick up germs.

Number two: change toothbrushes often after having a cold or flu to eliminate the germs from possibly reoccurring.

Number three: wear socks to keep fungi from entering.

Number four: make sure to get plenty of vitamin D. Exposure to the sun is a great way to get a dose of vitamin D.

Number five: drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration because if the body is not hydrated, it leaves the immune system vulnerable.

Number six: be sure to get flu shots and check to see if all immunization shots and vaccines are up-to-date. This advice is recommended from a variety of websites and strongly advised by doctors.

Number seven: fill up on fiber to help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.

Number eight: avoid stress, as it also makes the body vulnerable when the right amount of sleep or nutrition is not obtained. As difficult as it may seem to do when the semester assignments are piling on and exams are near, try to save some time in your schedule for relaxation.

Number nine: keep moving and exercising to burn calories and keep muscles active.

These nine tips are not one hundred percent affective, but they are vital when it comes to keeping away annoying colds and the dreaded flu.

Following these guidelines decreases chances of contracting sicknesses; however, failure to do so has been linked to the recent “outbreak of the respiratory virus in ten states,” according to Jessica Durando of USA Today.

Further research of the epidemic is still being pursued, but USA Today reporter Liz Szabo interviewed Micheal T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota about this respiratory virus outbreak. “It’s a virus called EV-D68 which causes coughing, wheezing, but usually has little to no symptoms,” said Osterholm.

“There is not a vaccine; however, people can reduce their risk of this virus– and most infectious diseases– by washing their hands frequently with warm water and soap,” said Osterholm, which follows Dorothy Foltz Gray’s first step in staying well during the changing of the seasons.

Hand washing is agreed upon among most doctors and professionals as great advice to keep in mind to stay out of the population of cold and flu season. Therefore, take the time to wash your hands frequently to cut back risks of being sick and welcoming viruses.

As the weather begins to change in the upcoming weeks, be aware of each of these aspects of your own life to ensure wellness and keep away the germs.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

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