6 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Winter Season
Winter is most definitely here, and it brings with it the inevitable colds, coughs and other illnesses that mark this time of year. But a few simple tips can help you fully enjoy the season without compromising your health.
Wash your hands often
This is one of the most important tips for staying healthy this winter, because this is flu season! Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. Wash up after using the bathroom, before eating or handling food, and whenever you arrive home after being in a public place — and even more often if someone you live or work with is sick.
Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed or out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially and get plenty of sleep. (There’s your excuse for that long winter’s nap.)
Dress appropriately for the cold weather
Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: lightweight but warm layers (one of those quilted vests over a shirt and under a jacket is ideal); gloves; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots. You can always strip off a layer if the afternoon sun raises the temperature.
Get exams and screenings
These can be different for men and women. Consult with your healthcare provider which exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history. An excellent early New Year’s goal: setting up these 2019 appointments before the end of 2018.
Get your vaccinations
This helps prevent many serious diseases and saves lives. Your primary care provider can tell you if you’re due for a particular immunization.
Eat healthy and stay active
A few holiday treats here and there are fine, but load your everyday diet with fruits and vegetables, which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2-1/2 hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day. The exercise helps avoid weight gain, burns off stress and provides a welcome break from a frenzied schedule.