It’s that time of year again. The days are shorter, the temperature is dropping and winter is on its way. For many of us, that means bundling up and staying indoors to stay warm. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to hibernate until spring. There are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy throughout the winter months. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this winter.
1. Get a Flu Shot
One of the best ways to avoid getting sick this winter is to get a flu shot. The flu is a serious respiratory illness that can be deadly, especially for young children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get vaccinated every year. Flu shots are available for free through most health insurance plans.
2. Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness. Be sure to wash your hands often, especially before you eat, after you sneeze or cough and after you use the restroom. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids is important for overall health, but it’s especially important during the winter months when the air is dry and cold. Dry air can cause dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, headaches and other health problems. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. And if you’re exercising or spending time outdoors in the cold, be sure to drink even more fluids to replace the ones you’re losing through sweat.
4. Eat Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy diet is important for overall health, but it’s especially important during the winter when your body needs extra nutrients to stay warm. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. And if you’re looking for a little extra warmth, soups and stews are a great way to get it.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, but it’s especially important during the winter when your body needs extra rest to stay healthy. Make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. And if you’re feeling tired during the day, take a nap.
6. Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly is important for overall health, but it’s especially important during the winter when it’s easy to become inactive. Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. And if you can’t make it to the gym, there are plenty of other ways to stay active, such as taking a brisk walk or going for a snowshoe hike.
7. Stay Warm
When the temperature drops, it’s important to stay warm. But that doesn’t mean you have to crank up the heat. Just make sure you’re dressing appropriately for the weather and avoid spending extended periods of time outside in the cold. And if you do go outside, make sure to stay dry and avoid getting wet, which can lead to hypothermia.
8. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol can make you feel warm, but it actually causes your body to lose heat. So if you’re looking to stay warm this winter, limit your alcohol consumption.
9. Check the Weather
Before you head outdoors, be sure to check the weather. This will help you dress appropriately and avoid being caught in a storm.
10. Stay Safe
Finally, be sure to stay safe this winter. If you’re heading outdoors, be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. And if you’re traveling, be sure to check the weather and road conditions before you go.
By following these simple tips, you can stay healthy this winter and enjoy all the season has to offer.