Plus, Is It Time to Wear a Mask Again?, 7 Reasons You're Always Tired, What to Say to Someone Who's Sick and More ... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
AARP Your Health

It's time to dust off those vaccine cards – and perhaps those facemasks, too. A new batch of COVID vaccines have been approved that are available this fall, along with seasonal flu shots and a new RSV vaccine for people 60 and over.

I'll be heading to our pharmacy soon for shots that should protect me during peak virus season. And it's a good thing. When I recently spoke with Paul Sax, Clinical Director of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital, he predicted another COVID surge this winter.

"The last three winters have taught me that it is highly likely that we'll have an increase in cases each winter, just as we have with the flu and RSV," Sax told me.

Learn more about the latest coronavirus shots, including which variants they target, in 5 Things to Know About the New COVID Vaccines. And if you're on the fence about masking, find out who needs one and when in Is it Time to Wear a Mask Again?

How do you plan to protect yourself from COVID and other respiratory diseases this fall and winter? Let me know,, and we may share your stories.

Betsy Agnvall, Healthy Living Editor, AARP

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Shaking It Up
We asked how you spice up your health routines. From singing to dancing to paddling, you're finding fun ways to stay healthy. Here are just a few of them:
During summer, we kayak a few times a week and walk outdoors before the heat settles in. Fall is hiking weather with kayaking on warmer days. Once the Dakota air chills, we're back in the gym, walking the track and doing strength training. When it snows, we get out the snowshoes and skis. Spring is training at the gym — rowing, cycling, and track. It's never boring when you've got friends to go with you. — Elizabeth Smith

I usually do a half hour of stretching, weights, balance and strength training, but today I went outside and paddled my canoe for 35 minutes. It was SO relaxing and enjoyable since the lake was calm and no one else was on the lake to disturb my peace. — Bob Kowal, 76, Eastern WA

Both my husband and I are mixer uppers with our workouts. I personally Zumba 3–5 x weekly, we also walk daily and manage to fit in Pilates and hot yoga at least one time per week. Not bad for 69 and 71 young…huh? Forever young. — Debra Cruse, Carlsbad, California

When I was a child I had terrible allergies and several times I was in the hospital with asthma. At age 18 I joined a gym, gained weight and strength. By age 26 I became a personal trainer and went on to be an owner of several gyms. Now my routine includes stretching and balance, 30-minute brisk dog walks, weight training and riding an indoor bike. — Jim, 88, Lincoln, California

A great way to add fun to physical and mental fitness is square dancing! Square dance is a great way to move in a social setting. Dancers generally get thousands of steps in per dance session. We never know what the caller will have us do, so we listen carefully while enjoying the music and moving with others in our "square" of dancers.— Debbie Andreen, Valley Twirlers Square Dance Club, El Cajon, CA
Responses have been condensed and edited.

We love to hear your stories. As I wrote above, it's fall vaccine time. Tell us your thoughts about the new COVID vaccine and whether you expect to wear a mask this fall and winter.
Share Your Story