Ever notice more people getting sick when the clouds roll in? It’s not a coincidence—some people are at greater risk for certain illnesses and accidents due to the cold. Read on to figure out ways to boost winter health for you and your loved ones.
1. Warmth – Reducing the health risks associated with colder weather
When the temperature drops, certain health risks increase. Some of these include heart attack, asthma, joint pain, stroke, falling, pneumonia, hypothermia, etc. Because your body works harder to keep warm, the immune system is left vulnerable.
Turn up the heat at home and wear a hat outside to maintain a healthy level of body heat and enjoy lasting winter health.
2. Safety – Knowing when to stay indoors and when to enjoy the winter wonderland
Watch out for fog, patches of ice, and exhaustion. An important part of winter health is avoiding poor weather conditions while driving or walking.
Driving is dangerous at certain points of the winter months. Check the weather channel or news websites for alerts if you’re unsure of the conditions.
Instead of going on your usual evening walk, opt for a time when the sun has melted and dried up the sidewalk. This will mitigate risk of falls, and the scenery is much more pleasant when lit up by the sun.
3. Mood – Say goodbye to the winter blues and hello to winter health
Especially in the Pacific Northwest, there is a dampened mood for many when the sun goes down earlier. These shorter days can often contribute to cases of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is depression during months of decreased sunlight.
Additionally, the holidays can be a contributing factor to elevated stress levels. Make sure to not only get enough sun but also take time to do things you love. Play games with family, watch your favorite movies, or read a good book while sipping hot cocoa or tea.
4. Bugs – Stop the spread of germs!
Colds and flus are rampant during the winter season, so it is vital to get enough sleep, wash your hands regularly, get a flu shot, and cough into your sleeve. These seemingly insignificant actions are, in fact, life saving for people in a more fragile condition.
Those more at risk of infection and worsened symptoms include:
- Anyone 65 or older
- Pregnant Women
- Those with auto-immune disorders
- People with long-term health conditions
- Disabled individuals
- Families with young children
As you likely have a loved one in one of these categories, take initiative in keeping germs from spreading.
5. Nutrition – Eat healthy, stay healthy
Maintaining a healthy balance of fruits, veggies, protein-rich foods, and fiber is essential to boosting the immune system. Instead of opting for comfort foods high in sugar and bad fats, check out these helpful lists of simple recipes for families on any budget: BBC – Cheap and Healthy & Better Homes and Gardens Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3
So, take control of your winter health with these tips, and don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the season!
If you have anything to add, comment below—we love to hear what you have to say!