Tips for Canadian seniors to stay active and free from flu this winter
(NC) Walking outside to keep bones and muscles strong is the main form of regular exercise for many seniors. So what can people over 65 years do to stay active and healthy during our long Canadian winters? Read on.
Heading into winter, seniors can take ownership of their health by getting a seasonal flu shot, eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise for their body and mind to ensure they stay healthy.
Getting the flu vaccination is important for all Canadians, especially for seniors, to help reduce the risk of serious complications and hospitalization. Even a mild case of the flu may require a few days of bed rest, which can result in up a loss of up to five per cent of muscle power for every day recovering from the flu. The immune system declines as we age and seniors often have underlying conditions which make it more important to get vaccinated. There are flu vaccines specifically designed for seniors, like FLUAD, which has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization for influenza or pneumonia by 25 per cent compared to the regular seasonal flu vaccines intended for the general population.
3 tips for seniors to stay healthy indoors during the colder months:
Choose an activity that strengthens muscles and bones at least twice per week, such as a 20-minute walk at the mall or in the halls of your apartment, condo building or house
Always take the stairs where possible
Call a friend, neighbour or family member to join you at a drop-in seniors exercise class at your local community centre to help keep you motivated
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Mannino S. et al. Effectiveness of Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccination in Elderly Subjects in Northern Italy. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 September 15; 176(6): 527–533.
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