We’ve had an attack of croup this weekend – Bene is particularly susceptible to it – and it has reminded me that winter is well and truly here and that the scourge of winter bugs that can sweep through 7 people in a house and bring misery is once again on top of us. My 3 asthmatics are having their flu jabs this week and it’s time to break out the vitamins. Here are some other tips for staying healthy this winter.
Colder weather shouldn’t confine you to your home, but taking a few sensible measures can help you and your family stay well this year. Follow this simple advice and enjoy all the beauty and celebrations of the winter season.
While wrapping up warm won’t prevent you from catching a cold or other illness – these are spread by infection – low temperatures can be deadly, especially for the very young and elderly among us, as well as those with limited mobility. That means it’s essential to dress for the weather, both at home and out and about. Energy bills never seem to stop going up, so save money by stocking up on blankets and hot water bottles for those cold days when you don’t want to crank up the heating, and put on woolly jumpers, waterproof coats with insulated linings, and warm socks whenever you need to go outside.
Don’t neglect your extremities either – good gloves are essential, and earmuffs, scarves or beanie hats will keep your ears warm as well as protect your hearing aids if you wear them – as experts such as hidden hearing can explain, very low temperatures can affect the way the batteries perform.
Watch Your Step
Rain or snow can lead to slippery pavements in the winter, which are the cause of thousands of minor, and major injuries every year. Take it slow, watch out for patches of ice, and be sure to wear shoes or boots that have a good grip. If you’re taking the stairs, then always keep a firm hold of the railing just in case.
A good diet can help you stay healthy throughout the winter. There will be plenty of seasonal fruit and veg available in your local supermarket, perfect for making delicious and warming stews, pies and soups. Look for dark, leafy greens such as kale, as well as citrus fruits that are packed with Vitamin C, and consider investing in a smoothie maker to get your recommended daily intake of vitamins in one easy, tasty drink.
Maintaining a decent exercise regime, whether it’s going out for a walk once a day, hitting the gym, or taking a class, will help your body fight illness, as well as keep you feeling good within yourself. It can also have social benefits which are vital to keep up during the winter months when the tendency is to hibernate.
Directly or indirectly, the flu sadly kills thousands of people in the UK every winter and in recent years the situation has only worsened, perhaps due to unwarranted fears over vaccination. One other likely cause of flu spreading so much is that when it’s cold people tend to congregate indoors. You can protect yourself and others by washing your hands regularly, disinfecting door handles, staying home from work if you are ill, and even following the very sensible Japanese habit of wearing a facemask when on public transport. Remember if you’re over 65, pregnant, or overweight, you’re entitled to a free flu jab on the NHS – don’t skip it!
Keep Things Light
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is where your mood is lowered by the change in seasons. It’s often referred to as the winter blues but it can also affect sufferers in the summer months, one symptom being heightened anxiety. When the skies are dark outside, it can lead to a depressive state of mind, but SAD can be countered by employing bright light boxes in the home. Obviously this is not an ideal remedy for all, and getting plenty of exercise during the daytime is also recommended as a possible treatment.
This is an editorial post.