Do you perceive winter as a season of illnesses and ailments? Injuries, flu, cough, fever, itchy skin, and frostbite bother us all but there is no reason for our health to suffer during the colder months. With a little effort and care, we can fill this season with fun and joy and feel just as active as in the summer months.
- You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter. In temperate climates, seasonal flu epidemics occur mainly during winter.
- Elderly people and those with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk of flu and should get a flu vaccination during winters.
Tips to Protect Yourself During Winters
1. Boost your immunity
Keep you and your family healthy by improving your immunity this winter. Getting enough sleep, staying active and eating healthy can help you do this. Herbs and nutrients such as garlic, vitamin C, and zinc will help to support healthy immune function. Drinking milk and consuming dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt will also help to boost your immunity since they are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12. Get a flu shot if you haven't got one earlier ahead of the flu season.
2. Keep moving
Keeping yourself active during winters is very important to support your health. You can exercise indoors to keep you warm. Before starting any exercises, be sure to warm up and stretch properly as your joints might take a little longer to loosen up during the cold season.
3. Skin health
Winter skin care is important for health reasons as much as for beauty reasons. The cold, dry weather might affect your skin and contribute to conditions such as itchy, dry skin, and eczema. Moisturisers without harsh chemicals, mineral oils and sunscreens should be part of your daily routine.
4. Keep your environment clean
Cold and flu common in winter season can be avoided by washing or sanitising your hands regularly and avoiding close contact with someone who has the flu. Household surfaces should be kept clean. Kids and their toys should be kept away from someone who is infected with a cold.
5. Stay away from stress
Stress should be kept in control in all the seasons. Excessive stress is responsible for lowering your immunity levels and this may be dangerous during winters as it can decrease resistance to infectious bugs. Stress also increases your need for dietary magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function. It is therefore very important to relieve nervousness, irritability and take help for emotional balance.
6. Stay hydrated
Even though you don’t feel very thirsty in this season, a daily consumption of two litres of water during winter as it is essential for the body to function. So don't forget to drink water! You can make herbal tea and try out different flavours to keep you hydrated and warm.
7. Keep warm
Dress appropriately in warm clothes to avoid falling ill. Wear a lot of thin layers of cotton, wool and fibres. Do not forget your socks and gloves to keep your feet and palms warm. Keep your homes warm if you have seniors at home with reduced mobility.
Do not let darker and colder mornings make you lethargic and tired. Follow these tips and enjoy the winter season to the fullest!
1. National Health Service. Accessed Dec 13, 2016.
2. World Health Organization Day. Accessed Dec 14, 2016.