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Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 5:00 am - How to make your health needs a priority this holiday season

Canada is in the midst of the cold and flu season with more people prone to getting sick in the cold winter months.

At the same time, the holiday season is fast approaching. With the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and visiting loved ones, our health-care needs can sometimes fall to the bottom of our priority list.

“A lot of people are gathering, I don't know about you, I'm making some plans to gather with some of my friends or family that I haven't seen in months,” Jeffrey Chou, Senior Manager of Pharmacy Services at Rexall explains.

Getty Images: Family holiday get together (Getty Images)

“But given that the weather is getting a bit colder, a lot of those gatherings are going to be indoors. So now you have a lot of people gathering in an indoor setting and that's where viruses that give you the cough and cold thrive.”

According to Public Health agency of Canada, the flu and a cold can have similar symptoms. In general symptoms of the flu appear quicker while symptoms of a cold can happen more gradually.

Be on the lookout for the following symptoms this cold and flu season:

  • Fever
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Body aches and pains
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Getty Images: Blowing nose in tissue, flu season (Getty Images)

Chou admits that catching a bug this holiday season is likely for some, but there are ways to reduce your chances of infection while also protecting the health of others.

Chou recommends frequent handwashing, keeping your hands from touching your face and coughing or sneezing into your elbow to stop respiratory droplets from spreading to others.

But most importantly, if you are feeling sick, Chou suggests skipping the holiday party and isolating at home instead to protect the health and wellbeing of your loved ones.

To further protect your health, Rexall is introducing their Be Well Loyalty Rewards program (“Be Well app”), a user-friendly smartphone app that works to simplify your health-care routine and keep track of your health.

Rexall graphic: Be Well

“One of the great aspects of the new Be Well Loyalty Rewards program is it allows you to track your health, wellness, and rewards all in one spot from your smartphone,” said Brian Morrison, Director of Loyalty.

If you do wake up feeling under the weather, look no further than to your smartphone.

Through the Be Well app, you can view your medical history, book virtual consultations with medical experts and even take care of loved one’s medical needs if they are unable to do it on their own.

“It is very simple to use, you can even connect to your Rexall pharmacy. From there, you'll be able to submit photos of our RX’s just by taking a picture of them, you can fill and refill your prescriptions,’ Morrison explains.

“During this time when things are really busy, the great thing is you can actually schedule when you want to pick up that prescription. So now it makes for a seamless experience in and out of the pharmacy,” said Morrison.

If you are feeling sick, it's best to wait out the storm at home and ask a loved one to pick up any over the counter remedies you may need.

“It's very common for somebody to feel overwhelmed at a cough and cold section of the pharmacy, but all of this boils down to five different medications treating five common symptoms,” said Chou.

“You got your dry cough, your wet cough, aches and pains, a stuffy nose or a runny nose. So the best option is always to speak to your pharmacists, tell them what you're feeling and they're going to ask you about your medication history. So that's when you can pull out your Be Well app and they'll make a recommendation that's both safe and effective to make you feel better.’

In addition to helping manage cold symptoms or help with everyday medical needs, the Be Well app also offers exciting reward programs for holiday shoppers.

“The perks are one of the best parts of the Be Well app so most weekends you'll have the opportunity to earn up to $10 in cashback savings through the app. We also deliver personalized digital offers to your phone on a weekly basis which you can activate to earn even more points. There's just a lot of value for customers,” Morrison explains.

Rexall: Be Well

While the rewards program is great for the holiday season, remember that your health is always the most important priority.

It is important when visiting your loved ones during the holidays to be on the lookout for any possible symptoms of a cold or flu before congregating indoors.

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