Staying healthy is essential all year, but it is especially crucial during the winter when people are more prone to developing illnesses. In cold months, people tend to stay indoors, exposing them to factors like bacteria, dirt, dander, and other germs that get recycled in the indoor air.

Moreover, research by scientists from Yale University reveals that cold temperatures make the immune system “sluggish” and weaken the body’s ability to fight viruses and infections.

Vista Health, UK’s leading healthcare provider, offers ten cold season tips to help you beat winter illness:


1. Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for staying healthy during winter. Not only does it regulate body temperature, but it also aids digestion and nutrient absorption, lubricates joints, and detoxifies the body through the removal of waste products.

The recommended daily water intake is 125 ounces (3.7 litres) in adult males and 91 ounces (2.7 litres) in females. You may need to adjust these numbers depending on your diet, location, and activity level.


2. Eat Healthy and Balanced Meals

Boost your immune system by eating foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and A, selenium, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Here are a few antioxidant-rich foods to incorporate into your diet:

●       Fruits like cranberries, grapes, peaches, raspberries, guavas, oranges, and peaches

●       Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, potato, artichokes, and carrots

●       Cereals packed with nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachio, and macadamia

●       Spices and herbs like cinnamon, oregano, basil, ginger, paprika, and sage


3. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is associated with the development of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high blood, and stroke. Ensure quality sleep of at least 7-9 hours each night. Avoid using mobile devices 30-60 minutes before bedtime as they can restrain melatonin production, a hormone that promotes sleep.


4. Wash Your Hands Properly

Washing your hands properly is essential to avoid getting sick and spreading disease-causing germs and bacteria. Rinse your hands thoroughly, especially when coming into contact with high-touch surfaces like handrails, doorknobs, and office desks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to scrub in between fingers, under nails, and back of hands.


5. Exercise Regularly

Research reveals that moderate-intensity exercises improve immune function and reduce the risk of developing viral respiratory infections. Stay active by going on 30 to 60-minute brisk walks or 20 to 30-minute runs at least three to four times a week. If you can’t go outside, online exercise classes are great for staying active indoors.


6. Practice Self-Care

Shorter days and colder nights can lead to unwanted seasonal depression. Developing a solid self-care ritual helps boost serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes mood, and promotes feelings of well-being and happiness.

Self-care practices include listening to music, taking a hot bath, journaling, yoga, meditation, and going for short walks. Find one that works for you.


7. Stay Warm and Cozy

Reduce your risks of developing colds and other winter-related diseases by keeping your place warm and toasty. Keep your home around 18 degrees and try to block draughts that let heat escape.

Dress for the weather by layering up. Opt for wearing layers of light clothing as they trap warm air better than a single bulky layer.


8. Get Your Flu Vaccine

The virus lingers longer during the cold season when the air is less humid. A report by the CDC reveals that winter flu epidemics affect 300,000 to 600,000 people annually.

You can reduce your risk of catching the flu by getting vaccinated. It is available for people ages six months and above, except for those with severe allergies to certain vaccine ingredients.

The CDC also recommends the pneumonia vaccine for children below two years old, adults 65 and older, and immunosuppressed individuals with illnesses like HIV and leukemia. Consult your healthcare provider before receiving any vaccine.


9.  Get Some Sunlight When You Can

While seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may occur any time of the year, it is more common during the winter when people opt to stay indoors.

Reduced exposure to sunlight deprives the body of essential hormones and chemicals like vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin. This greatly contributes to the development of depression and the worsening of pre-existing depressive symptoms.

So when you can, go for short walks in the morning, and get some much-needed sunlight. 


10.  Schedule Regular Health Check-Ups

The cold weather triggers a wealth of health problems like flu, painful joints, sore throat, and heart problems. Scheduling preventative health checkups with your doctor helps catch winter diseases early on and prevents them from progressing into something more serious.


Stay Healthy This Winter Season

Developing a healthy lifestyle during the winter season is important, and so is scheduling routine check-ups with vetted healthcare professionals.

As UK’s leading healthcare specialist, Vista Health provides state-of-the-art diagnostic services at competitive rates. Our medical team is trained to ensure that you get the highest level of patient care possible.

Gain access to some of the best treatments and procedures in the UK including cardiac MRI scans and echocardiograms. For questions and consultations, reach out to us at 0371-705-2526.

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