as part of their Wintertime brings some wonderful things: breaks from school, holidays with family, delicious food, and gorgeous snowy landscapes. But for many of us, stress and illness also come along with the fun. So what can you do to maintain your health and wellness during the busiest time of the year?
Read on for ten essential ways to keep illness at bay so you can enjoy the best parts of the winter season.
1. Wash Your Hands
Influenza and cold viruses abound when the weather gets cold. Even though you should regularly wash your hands all year long, it becomes especially important in the winter.
Along with washing your hands before you eat, you should also clean them after you’ve shaken hands with someone, touched any public surfaces, or come in contact with anything a sick person has touched.
2. Get a Flu Vaccine
Along with washing your hands, getting the flu shot is another vital part of protecting yourself and your loved ones from illness. Even if you don’t think you’ll get the flu, it’s essential to get vaccinated to keep from spreading it to others.
Experts recommend that everyone over six months old get the flu shot as part of their health and wellness unless they’ve been told by their doctor to avoid it.
And if you’re worried about getting sick from the shot, don’t be! Flu shots don’t contain the active virus and can’t give you influenza.
3. Stock Up on Medicine
If you do end up getting a bug this year, the last thing you’ll want to do is head out into the cold to visit a pharmacy. So save yourself the trouble and stock up on cough drops, cold medicine, and tea well ahead of time.
Make sure you also know in advance where to purchase antiviral medications in case someone in your family does come down with the flu. If buying medicine through your local drugstore is too expensive, an online pharmacy intermediate can help you order prescription drugs online without paying high prices.
4. Improve Your Air Quality
When the doors and windows get sealed up for the year, it’s prime time for dust mites to thrive. Dust, pet dander, and other air pollutants can get trapped in your home’s air only to circulate when the furnace kicks on.
If anyone in your family has allergies or asthma, this can lead to a lot of lung irritation. Make sure to vacuum and dust often and set up an air purifier to run on a regular schedule.
Keeping your air clean and filtered can help keep your lungs in good health all winter long.
5. Keep Exercising
Your healthy lifestyle shouldn’t stop with the warm weather. Exercising enables you to keep off the extra winter weight and can also help keep you from getting sick.
If you can’t drag yourself to the gym when there’s snow on the ground, try setting up a home workout area in your bedroom or living area. Or, get a workout in by sledding, shoveling snow, and going ice skating!
6. Eat Healthy Foods
Between cakes, cookies, pies, and candies, it’s hard to escape the sugary treats during the holiday season. But not only is eating healthy a great way to keep off those extra pounds, but it’s also a vital part of keeping your body and immune system functioning at its best. Eating a high-sugar diet can lead to addiction and damage your brain over time.
So this winter, be aware of what you’re eating. You don’t have to avoid sweets entirely, but be sure to balance them with plenty of lean proteins, leafy greens, and colorful fruits.
7. Drink Water
Most people associate dehydration with sweating outside in the hot sun. But your body needs a steady supply of water no matter how warm it is, and staying hydrated can help you avoid the dry, cracked skin that appears when temperatures drop. To make sure you’re drinking enough water, try carrying a reusable water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day.
8. Sleep on Schedule
Sleeping on a regular schedule is one of the best health tips to follow if you’re trying to avoid getting sick. Not only will it leave you feeling exhausted, but a lack of sleep can also weaken your immune system. Being tired can also make you more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks and skip your daily exercise.
For best results, try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It helps to follow a set routine where you go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
9. Manage Your Medical Conditions
It’s easy to neglect your health when you’re focused on the bustle of the holidays. But if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, it’s essential to stay on top of them during the winter months.
This is especially important for people with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Holiday foods can lead to a blood sugar spike, and your risk of a heart attack increases when the weather gets cold.
To stay healthy, make sure you’re monitoring your condition closely. Keep getting regular checkups from your doctor and make sure to avoid skipping any doses of your prescription drugs.
10. Decrease Your Stress
Despite their reputation for being the cheeriest time of the year, the winter months often lead to feelings of stress and an increase in mental illness symptoms. Being stressed for too long can make you sick, so make your mental health a priority.
To de-stress after a busy day, try running a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, and doing yoga or meditating. It might also help to keep a journal of your thoughts or talk with a therapist if things get tough. Don’t run yourself ragged—it’s important to make time for rest.
Follow These Health and Wellness Tips to Feel Your Best All Winter Long
Staying healthy through winter is possible! By following these health and wellness tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your winter with a far smaller risk of illness.
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