Stay Healthy This Winter
24th September 2013
The plummeting temperatures and shorter daylight hours that come with autumn can be a shock to the system after long days of warm sunshine. Over the coming months, the chances of catching nasty colds or the flu will sky rocket.
With some smart habits and small changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can enjoy everything autumn and winter have to offer without any runny noses or sore throats dampening your spirit.
Follow these simple tips for a happy and healthy winter:
Five a day
Choose foods that are rich in fibre and vitamins A, C and E. Including plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and protein in your diet will help strengthen your immune system and keep your body in full working order.
Get your forty winks
Our bodies repair themselves as we sleep so getting enough rest is important to keep us feeling strong and healthy. People often feel more lethargic in the winter months so listen to your body and recharge those batteries Ė staying strong will help stave off any unwanted infections.
Itís incredibly important for our overall health that we stay hydrated. Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day will flush your body of toxins that might be making infections harder to fight.
Wash your hands
Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to battle nasty bacteria and viruses and avoid getting sick. You might find it useful to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close by for when you canít wash your hands with soap and water.
Lower levels of sunshine and fewer daylight hours in winter lead to a natural lull in the production of vitamin D and hormones like serotonin and melatonin, leaving you feeling lethargic and blue. Wrap up warm and have a quick half hour in the morning sun to help keep the winter blues at bay.
Whilst it may be hard to get motivated when itís cold outside, exercising regularly will help keep you fit, boost your immune system and is a great cure for any bouts of cabin fever you might be suffering from. Refresh yourself with a brisk winter walk on a blowy beach, potter in the garden or try something new like ice-skating with the family. Tear yourself away from the sofa and get moving to boost both your mood and your immune system.
Know when to see a doctor
Most winter bugs will simply run their course without causing any real harm. However, if youíre over 65 or suffer from a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to handle winter bugs. If your symptoms are severe or you arenít responding to over-the-counter medicine, donít hesitate to go to your doctor for advice. Itís better to be safe that sorry!