By: Revanche

Avoiding the flu via frugal foods and exercise

November 6, 2010

Kaiser offers a free flu vaccine, mobile flu clinics abound as the official cold and flu season [possibly as declared by the drug industry] draws close and PiC has been insisting with ever-increasing urgency that we can not get sick this year.

Despite being surrounded by modern day solutions *cough * needles *cough*, I’m steadfastly refusing for no other reason than … I hate shots.

And I don’t want to take yet more time out to go do something that’s going to cause even momentary discomfort for what I consider insignificant benefits. I’ve not seen any difference in my flu-getting rates between years when I did get the flu vaccine and years when I didn’t.

What I have seen is a huge difference between good years and bad years for me is primarily related to stress levels.  My promise to PiC, then, is that I will be routinely be maintaining my physical health and sanity as a whole and not relying on the unsteady assistance of a flu vaccine and some shots of Emergen-C that he likes.

I won’t use them as crutches, in other words, since the belief that those alone will ward off the illness often takes the place of whole being wellness.  Again, for me.  

On November 1st, I took up Single Ma’s pushup challenge, modified to suit my capabilities. Over the next three weeks, I’m looking to increase from three sets of ten to five sets of ten with short breaks in between. They’re not the perfect, plank-version form I used to do, but they are good form for the kind I can do without causing injuries. 

Between the pushups, which have to spaced out appropriately to avoid injury (big theme around here), we’ve taken up a series of stretches that are stretchy and strengthening.  They’ve been incredible for pain reduction and management which makes more exercise possible.

In the kitchen, we’ve been doing a lot of home cooking with lots of ginger and garlic.  The NIH may not make drastic claims about the healthful properties of both, but I’ve always enjoyed cooking with both and the side effect of cooking at home is far healthier, still-delicious recipes in moderate proportions.  And honestly, I’ve always felt much improved after a cup of hot ginger-lemon tea, ginger-laden broth makes me feel just as warm and cozy inside.

What else shall I cook up in my game of Needle-Keep-Away? Are you pro flu-vaccine or will you be avoiding it as well?  If so, what are you doing to protect yourself and your loved ones from the possible effects of your possibly bad decision?  😉

9 Responses to “Avoiding the flu via frugal foods and exercise”

  1. If you’d ever had a bad case of flue–as I did once–you will never go w/out a shot. My case was almost 20 years ago–I could not get up to help my crying children. Many flu victims are among the most healthy. Though I am not good about doctor visits, etc, I would never avoid a flu shot.

  2. This year my doctor gave me a “nasal” flu vaccine. It was a little weird, but mostly just easy, painless. So if you do want to be vaccinated, I recommend this option for your shot hating arm. Includes H1N1. But i understand some people simply don’t like the idea of the vaccine anyway.

    You are so right about the stress. I always get sick about a week after a horribly stressful time. Get enough sleep! And blog often! 😉

  3. Karen says:

    I avoid the shot and I have never had the flu. Maybe I would reconsider if, like Frugal Scholar, I had it.

  4. eemusings says:

    Seeing as this year (despite being finally done with uni and corresponding stress levels/poor eating) marked the most hellish one for me illness wise, I’M GETTING MY SHOT NEXT YEAR.

    And if it makes me worse, at least I’ll know. But if I could get even one less bout, that would be worth it.

  5. Nicole says:

    Why not get the nose squirt? My DH and DS got it, and I got the regular poke. It was something like a $10 difference.

    Last year my son and I got the shot and my husband didn’t, and he and everyone at daycare ended up with an awful flu that DS and I completely avoided. I’m totally a convert.

  6. Kate says:

    I got really sick from the flu vaccine two years ago, and so I’m on a no-go list for a bit. Not to mention the adjuvented one raises all sorts of cautions if you have inflammatory arthritis (like RA, which I do). So no vaccine for me.

    One thing I hate about the mass vaccination program is that not many people know what effect it actually has or hasn’t. For instance, during the volleyball season, I refused to shake hands after each set- I go with the fist bump or elbow bump. I get comments every time:

    1) But we’ve all had our flu shots! [no we all haven’t]
    2) But I’ve had my flu shot! [doesn’t mean you still can’t pass it on]
    3) I have nothing to worry about since I’ve had my shot [you can still get the flu, the shot just reduces the chances of you getting a severe case]

    Eating well and taking care of yourself doesn’t become optional just because you’ve had a shot.

  7. I resisted getting flu shots for years. As a result, every single G.D. year I got a nasty case of the flu, which took three to six weeks to get over. Early every spring semester, like clockwork, I’d be sick as a dog.

    After one episode where I really, truly did think I was going to die (with any luck…), I gave up and started getting the shots. It is so worth it!

    Not only have I not had one case of the flu since starting with the shots, I hardly even get a cold–on the rare occasion that one strikes, it’s usually very mild.

    What you eat and what you don’t eat have little (possibly nothing) to do with your vulnerability to the flu. The flu is caused by an organism. Get the organism into your system and you are going to come down with the flu, no matter what swell organics you’re eating.

    Try the nasal vaccine, as stackingpennies suggests. If they won’t give it to you, just get the shot. It’s practically painless…really!

  8. Same story here as Funny. After a few years of getting the flu — and then getting it TWICE a season for two consecutive years — I gave in and started getting the flu shot every year. I have not gotten the flu since. And I’m also a total wuss when it comes to needles.

  9. Lillian says:

    I am absolutely terrified of needles. So – no – I don’t get the flu shot.

    I actually did break down and get the shot twice. Both times I had a reaction – the shot made me sick for the next few days. And both times I got the flu that year.

    Other than those two years I’ve never had the flu.

    No flu shots for me!

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