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How to Stay Well This Winter

How to Stay Well This Winter

As the evenings get darker, and the temperature’s start to drop, we become much more susceptible to feeling under the weather; with many of us getting a cold or flu in the winter months.

Being ill is never a pleasant experience, so we have decided to help you try and combat this with our latest blog. This piece will provide you with useful hints and tips on how to stay well this winter.

Sharing ways to reduce your chances of getting ill, will mean you can thoroughly enjoy the festivities of the December month.

Help Fight a Cold with a Healthy Immune System

You can easily limit your chances of contracting the common cold by ensuring your immune system is kept at it’s optimum.  There are plenty of ways to do this, which we have shared with you below.

Eat plenty of healthy foods

A diet high in fruit and vegetables will help to give your body the required nutrients it needs.  In particular, foods rich in vitamin D such as spinach, salmon, egg yolks, milk, mushrooms and oranges all help towards keeping your immune system high; thus helping to fight viruses you may come into contact with, such as the common cold.

Exercise Regularly

Whether you go to the gym, or enjoy brisk walks, partaking in regular exercise helps to improve your body’s ability to fight infection. There is however a fine line between exercising frequently and over doing it. Make sure you also listen to your body, and rest when you’re tired; as over exerting yourself can also negatively impact your immune system.

Ensure you get enough sleep

A lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to getting ill, as your body can become run down when you deprive it of the rest it needs. Consistently getting enough sleep can contribute to a healthy body and immune system.

Drink Plenty of Water

Regardless of whether or not you are trying to fight a cold, you should always drink lots of water and stay hydrated, as it’s great for your body. Drinking water regularly, also helps flush any bad toxins out of your kidneys, thus contributing to a healthy immune system.

Try to Minimise the Stress in Your Life

Although we know stress can’t be avoided at all times, we should try to minimise the amount of stress we incur throughout our lives. The stress hormone can supress the effectiveness of the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to getting a headache, or being susceptible to infectious illnesses such as the flu. Therefore, taking time to reduce your stress, or partaking in stress reducing activities such as yoga or meditation, can help keep your body healthy.

Carry a Hand Sanitizer with You

If you are out and about it’s very easy to catch the cold or flu, from being in contact with other people.

Keeping germs at bay by regularly washing your hands will help to limit your chances of getting a cold. And if you aren’t near to a toilet to do this, carrying a hand sanitizer on you is the perfect way to ensure your hands are regularly cleaned, and free from harmful bacteria.

Also, a great habit to get into is to keep your hands away from your face. Germs are easily spread through your eyes and nose, so avoiding touching you face will limit your chances of getting ill.

See if you are eligible for the annual flu jab

There are certain criteria you must fit into in order to get the flu vaccination on the NHS free of charge. These are outlined below.

-          Those whom have serious long term conditions including (not limited to) Asthma, Heart disease, COPD, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes

-          Pregnant women

-          Men and Women aged 65 and over

-          Those living in as long stay residential home

-          If you are the main carer for an individual who’s welfare will suffer if you become ill (elderly or disabled)

As the flu virus changes every year, you must ensure you get your flu jab on a yearly basis to ensure you are covered. The flu virus this winter, is likely to be different to next years, so the vaccination is always being changed to fight this.

If you don’t fit the NHS criteria, you can still have the flu jab if you’d like to. Adults (over the aged of 18 years) can pay to get the flu jab privately. This can be purchased from either your local pharmacy or in a supermarket. The flu vaccination can cost up to £20. 

So when it comes to staying well this winter, we recommend you stay active and limit your chances of catching a cold or flu by regularly washing your hands, and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. Following the tips in our guide should help you to fight the cold, and have an enjoyable winter (free of the flu).

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/calcium-vitamin-d-foods

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-vaccine-questions-answers/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine/#flu-vaccine-for-people-with-medical-conditions

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