Tips to stay healthy this winter
Winter illnesses have been less severe over the last couple of years because we have been taking more care with hygiene and often wearing masks. But now we are mask free – here are some helpful tips for winter health.
Just because it’s raining or cold outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay active! (Sorry!)
Bad weather is no excuse – there are lots of exercises you can do inside (even doing the housework can give you a great workout). You could also try a yoga class, buy a skipping rope, visit the gym, or grab your umbrella and raincoat and go for a walk (your dog isn’t going to walk itself!).
Simple stretches to stay active (you can do this while watching TV – bonus!)
Eat a healthy diet
There’s no magic trick to staying healthy. Eating a well-balanced diet from the 5 food groups is the best way.
Make sure you include:
- Vitamin C - in most fruit & vegetables
- Zinc - in most animal products and many nuts and seeds
- Iron - in meat, beans, and lentils and spinach
Enjoy winter seasonal vegetables and fruit
- Grapefruit, kiwifruit, mandarins, and oranges are all delicious and in season over winter.
- Broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are great winter vegetables, particularly for soups.
- While fresh is best, don’t be afraid to stock the freezer up with frozen fruit and vegetables which are just as nutritious as they are frozen as soon as they are picked.
Eating real food to get the necessary vitamins and minerals is the best way – using supplements can be a waste of money (unless you have a diagnosed deficiency).
We tend to focus more on drinking water in the hotter months, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated when it’s cold. Keep a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to remind you to drink. Remember that good old cuppas and even soups count towards your intake too.
Get a bit of sun
Vitamin D is crucial for bone and general health, and we get this from the sun. We are constantly being told to be sun safe in summer, but it is possible to get sunburn in winter too. So, when the UV index is below 3, get outside for some fresh air and some vitamin D.
Being vigilant about hygiene will reduce your risk of catching something and help stop the spread of colds and the flu.
- Wash your hands regularly
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow
- Throw snotty tissues in the bin straight away (then wash your hands!)
- Avoid sharing cups and cutlery
- If you’re sick, stay home and keep the germs to yourself
- Get vaccinated against the flu