All posts tagged “Winter

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Welcome to cold and flu season!

It is that time of the year again to break out the tissues and cold and flu medicine. It is the start of cold and flu season! This year, there a few new changes as well as important reminders to keep in mind as we enter into this new season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just came out with a new 2016-2017 recommendations to not get the nasal flu vaccination, which was a very popular method of vaccinating last year.  The flu, or influenza virus, has a tendency to change its viral structure. Some people believe that once you have had the flu you become immune from contracting the flu in the future. However, even if this was somewhat true, the viral structure or strain of the flu changes so frequently it is unlikely that anyone is immune from the flu at all. Some of this year’s flu viruses have been assessed and based off the assessments, flu shots (compared to nasal vaccination) will be more accurate and a stronger source of flu prevention this season.

There has been talk in the past about individuals with egg allergies getting the flu shot, since some flu vaccines have eggs within their ingredients. This year the CDC is saying that individuals who have had mild reactions to the flu shot (i.e. hives) should get the recommended flu shot. Individuals who have more serious reactions to the shot (i.e.  angioedema, becoming dizzy/lightheaded or the need for an epinephrine) should still receive the flu shot but they should receive it in an inpatient or outpatient (i.e. hospital, clinic, local doctor’s office) medical environment. That way if serious reactions occur, medical professionals can deal with it right then and there. However, whether or not you have mild or serious allergic reactions to eggs, it is important to notify the individual who is giving you your vaccine of your egg allergy. Have an egg allergy? Read more about this change here.

Last year (2015) the flu season started later than usual and did not peak until December. This year we have already entered the flu season and it is the second week of October. It is recommended for everyone to get a flu shot, especially children and the elderly before the end of October. If you need to know where you can get one, check out this link to find a flu vaccine near you.

Besides getting a flu shot, make sure to wash your hands regularly and stay home when you are feeling sick. The common cold is one of the biggest gateways for contracting the flu. The cold may seem like no big deal but colds can suppress your immune system greatly making it easy for other viruses, such as the flu, to enter your body. If you are a supervisor at work encourage employees to stay home when they don’t feel well. Colds can last up to two weeks without proper care. This is two weeks where a cold can spread to other individuals and weaken your immune system for longer. Don’t be afraid to call out of work for the cold, everyone will thank you for it later!

Want to learn more about preventing colds and flu? Check out these links:

CDC – Common Colds

CDC – Flu

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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5 tips for staying active in the winter

We all know that getting outdoors in the summer months is a lot easier than in the winter. But don’t let that deter you! There are still plenty of fun outdoor activities you can participate in. Just follow these simple tips to staying warm the next time you venture outside.

  1. Layer it up: By wearing layers not only will it keep you warm, but if you begin to get too hot you can easily remove a layer or two. You can also add your favorite accessories – think headbands, hats, or even your sunglasses.
  2. Do a warm up: Just a 5 minute routine like jumping jacks or running in place will help get you going. Just make sure to stop before you begin to sweat. Play the Rocky theme song if you must.
  3. Be Aware: Make sure you know the weather conditions in the location of your work out. Modify your routine to accommodate the weather. If it is snowing, perhaps a snowshoeing adventure is better than a run.
  4. Be noticed:  Stay in an open area or wear a bright piece of clothing. We are loving the bright neon yellow jackets and reflective gear for bicyclists.
  5. Stay Inside: There is always an alternate way of completing a similar exercise in doors. Know when to say no if the conditions outdoor are not ideal.  Use what is accessible in your home (like hand weights, resistance bands or even your heavy everyday objects like milk jugs) to create a satisfying routine.

Your mind is a powerful tool. As long as you put your mind to completing your exercise routine, it will happen.  Self-determination is the key! Now bundle up, have fun, and be safe out there!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Dustin Gaffke

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The 95210 Holiday Challenge!

Many people throughout the blogosphere, twitter, and even on YouTube have been talking about the same thing this week. Your holiday meal this year may have as many as 4,500 calories! And you might have also heard that the average person gains 5-7 pounds over the holidays, each year! With this in mind, I want to challenge my readers to The 95210 Challenge! Read on for details. Read More