October 21, 2021

  1. Tackle Germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Wear a mask indoors and in crowded places when transmission of COVID-19 is high. As a bonus, masks help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses. If you do get sick, stay home.
  2. Roll up your sleeves. Get your COVID-19 vaccine and annual flu vaccine widely available at local pharmacies and clinics. Vaccination is your best shot at staying well and avoiding these contagious respiratory viruses. If you are eligible for a COVID booster shot, now’s a good time to boost your protection. 
  3. Eat healthy. Fall is a great time to enjoy seasonal fruits and veggies like squash and apples. Try new recipes with robust harvest flavors. Instead of a baked potato, do a baked sweet potato for a tasty and nutritional boost. Or swap out pasta with an ancient grain like quinoa.    
  4. Take a walk. Fall is the perfect time to take walks in your neighborhood or local trails. Walking regularly can help lift your mood, improve brain function, balance and coordination, reduce stress, and strengthen the heart, muscles and bones. Daily brisk walks can even benefit your immune system and help you sleep better.
  5. Get good sleep. Sleep is vital to our health. Adequate sleep helps our bodies fight invading bacteria or viruses more efficiently. Research shows that well-rested people who received the flu vaccine developed stronger protection against the illness. Adults should get 7 or more hours of sleep each night; teens should get 8-10 hours; and school age children should get 9-12 hours. Lack of sleep also increases the risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Expert Advice

We have the power to stop COVID-19. Our vaccinations are safe and effective. The vaccination works by teaching our bodies how to recognize the virus and fight off infection. As we spend more time indoors, viruses circulate more easily. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your family right now. These viruses can cause illness, hospitalization and death. For your convenience, flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time. If you do get the flu or COVID-19, your illness may be less severe if you are vaccinated. Let’s do all we can to stay well. Get vaccinated.

Amy Josorensen
Amy Jo Sorensen, DO, North Mankato Family Medicine