Your Trusted Service Provider

Ways to Reduce Your Risks of Illnesses
Ways to Reduce Your Risks of Illnesses
November 04/2023

Ways to Reduce Your Risks of Illnesses

With winter around the corner, many people are preparing for colds, flu, and other ailments. After all, the combination of cold weather, reduced daylight, and indoor gatherings creates an environment where germs thrive. In this article brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we discuss a range of strategies that can help you reduce the risks of getting sick during the winter months. By following these guidelines, you can fortify your immune system and minimize the chances of falling victim to winter illnesses.

If you are feeling under the weather and need a licensed primary care physician, then call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule a convenient appointment. Our primary care doctors also accept walk-in appointments, so don’t hesitate to give us a visit.

Prioritize Hand Hygiene

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to reduce your risk of illness is proper hand hygiene. Viruses such as the common cold and flu can easily spread through physical contact with contaminated surfaces and then to your mouth, eyes, or nose. Regular handwashing is your first line of defense. Make sure to:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, with unwashed hands.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Your immune system is your body's first-line defense against invaders like germs, and eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential to boost your immune system. During the winter months, it's essential to focus on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals known to boost immunity. These include:

  • Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers.
  • Foods high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks.
  • Zinc-containing foods, including beans, nuts, and lean meats.

In addition to these nutrients, prioritize a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep helps your body repair and regenerate. During deep sleep, the body's immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which help combat infections and inflammation. To optimize your sleep and immune health:

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment, with a comfortable mattress and a dark, quiet room.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise not only keeps you fit but also reduces stress, which is known to weaken the immune system. Exercise can also help increase the circulation of immune cells, making it easier for your body to detect and fight off infections.

Though everyone’s circumstance is different, a good rule of thumb is to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Choose activities you enjoy, such as indoor swimming, yoga, or brisk walks, to stay motivated.

We Can’t Overstate Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene!

Respiratory illnesses, like the flu, often spread through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. To minimize your risk of exposure and the potential to infect others:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose of used tissues in a lined trash can and wash your hands immediately.

Visit Your Primary Care Physician

The information on this page is for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Remember to periodically visit your primary care physician in Riverdale to ensure you are well-prepared for the colder months. Your doctor can provide personalized advice, vaccinations, and early detection of health issues. Residents in the area are welcomed to call Southern Maryland Medical Group to schedule an appointment with a licensed primary care doctor in Largo.

Our Locations

Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help. 

Learn More
Camp Springs, MD

5801 Allentown Road, Suite 400 Camp Spring, MD 20746

Phone: 301-868- 0150

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-868-0243

Greenbelt, MD

7500 Greenway Center, Dr #1200 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-486-7580

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-486-7581

Riverdale, MD

6510 Kenilworth Ave, Ste 1400, Riverdale MD 20737

Phone: 301-618-0771

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-618-0772