Most people don’t feel at their best during the winter months. It’s common to feel worn out from the short days and cold weather, and it often feels like everyone is suffering from some sort of cold, meaning it’s hard to avoid picking up infections. That’s why it’s important to focus on your health during the winter, and here are some tips for staying healthy when the weather turns bad.
1. Wash Your Hands and Practice Good Hygiene
It’s not always possible to avoid colds. After all, the world doesn’t stop when you have a cold, so lots of people go out and about, go to work or eat in restaurants while they’re still infectious. It’s easy to get cold germs on your hands, and if you then put your hands near your mouth, you can end up transferring these germs into your body. Avoid this by washing your hands a lot, with warm water and soap, and generally practicing good hygiene like washing fruits and vegetables etc.
You should also make sure you don’t pass on your own colds by sneezing into a tissue when possible, or onto your upper sleeve if you’re caught out without one. Sneezing into your hands just spreads the problem further.
2. Get a Flu Shot
Lots of people have the attitude that the flu is just like a bad cold, or something you can easily get over, but the truth is that the flu can kill, especially if you’re older, have a long-term illness or have a condition like asthma. The 2017/18 flu season killed 80,000 people, and even if you aren’t in an at-risk group, the flu can linger for weeks, ruining holiday plans and generally making you feel ill.
Some types of health insurance in Illinois and other states will cover a flu shot, otherwise, they usually only cost a few dollars, and some stores even offer an incentive such as a coupon to get you in and get your shot done.
3. Take Your Vitamins
During the winter months, the lack of sunlight can mean you aren’t getting enough vitamin D. If you often feel down during the winter or have a poor immune system, then regular vitamin D supplements can help. Vitamin C can also help you get over colds quicker, so take supplements and enjoy foods rich in vitamin C to make your winter ailments shorter.
4. Keep Up with Healthy Eating and Exercise
When your vacation is looming, and you’ll soon be in summer clothes, you’ll have motivation to hit the gym and eat well. However, when you’re wearing lots of winter layers, it’s easy to get into poor habits, and when it’s cold outside you may not feel like your usual run in the park.
Exercise is good for your mental health, so consider getting a gym membership if it’s too icy to exercise outside and try to pick healthy foods over the usual fat and sugar-laden holiday options. That way, you can avoid the usual holiday weight pile-on and can build your summer body during the winter months.