After Thanksgiving, the onslaught of holiday TV ads begins in earnest. With it comes a less-festive array of commercials for cold medication, flu shots and pain killers. And in January, an even more-dreaded set of advertisements – those for weight loss programs, pills and powders. But don’t be discouraged by the health challenges that winter can bring! These common-sense tips will help you stay healthy throughout this chilly season.
- Get some exercise. While a swim at the local pool may be out, there are still plenty of ways to work out in the winter, from joining a gym to using exercise videos in your home. So, there are no excuses for becoming a sloth just because it’s snowing!
- Hydrate your body – inside and out. Winter’s dry air and blustery winds can wreak havoc with your skin, so be sure to use lotion or a moisturizer to keep skin from getting chapped. And drink plenty of water to keep your body functioning at its best.
- Get a flu shot! Maybe your great-aunt Lucy never had a flu shot and never contracted the flu, but such stories are few and far between. Unvaccinated individuals are far more likely to catch the flu than those who got the shot, and a bad flu can leave you sick for weeks. So go with the odds and get that shot!
- Wash your hands frequently. Whether you’re using soap and water, hand sanitizer or a combination of both, washing your hands is the single most effective way to minimize your risk of getting sick.
- Get those nutrients. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during the winter in order to take in essential, health-promoting vitamins and minerals. You may also take a supplement, like Vitamin C and D, or Zinc, to further strengthen your immune system.
- Let yourself slow down. The winter days are shorter and nights are longer, so take this as a sign to adjust your work/life balance accordingly. Getting a bit more rest and spending more time with family will benefit you not only this winter, but throughout the year.
While wintertime can be a season of sniffles and sick days, giving yourself a little extra TLC can go a long way toward keeping you healthy in these colder months.