The temperature has dropped and the nights are drawing in. It can mean only one thing… winter is almost upon us.
It’s that time of year when the days get cooler, the nights get darker and it’s far too easy to pick up a cough, cold or another winter bug.
At this time of year, it’s essential to take extra care of your health. However, this can be easier said than done.
When it’s cold outside, it’s tempting to just stay warm and cosy on your sofa. But if you want to stay healthy this winter, you need to make sure you’re getting enough exercise, eating the right things and allowing your body and mind the chance to switch off and relax. After all, with the festive season fast approaching, you want to be fighting fit so you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones, right?
It’s important to stay active in the winter because it helps your body fight off infections. Exercise boosts your immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in your body. White blood cells are the ones that fight off viruses and bacteria. So, even though it may be cold outside, make sure you bundle up and get moving. A little bit of exercise each day will go a long way towards keeping you healthy throughout the winter, but there are other things you can do to beat the bugs. Here are our top tips.
COMMON WINTER BUGS TO AVOID
At this time of year, fighting off winter bugs like coughs, colds, and seasonal flu can seem like a losing battle. The kids can pick up and pass around all sorts of viruses at school, while offices and workplaces can be a breeding ground for winter illnesses. As the weather gets colder, our immune systems are put to the test.
One of the winter bugs doing the rounds at this time of year is the common cold. It’s caused by a virus and is spread through droplets in the air. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat. The best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
Another common winter bug is the ‘flu. Its symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. As the weather gets cooler, you can get a sore throat, which is also caused by a virus or airborne bacteria. The symptoms of a sore throat include pain, difficulty swallowing and fever. The best way to relieve your sore throat is to take over-the-counter pain relievers and drink lots of water. You can also gargle with warm salt water or use throat lozenges for instant relief.
And Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or winter depression, is a form of clinical depression that occurs during the winter months. Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, low energy, increased appetite, weight gain and feelings of hopelessness. While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is believed to be related to the change in seasons and the reduced amount of sunlight exposure during winter.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to prevent SAD and other bugs, to stay healthy during the winter months.
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY IN WINTER
Winter is a time when we’re more susceptible to colds and flu, so it’s essential to do what you can to boost your immunity. There are a few simple things that can help you stay healthy in winter. Make sure you get enough sleep. When we’re tired, our bodies are more vulnerable to illness. Getting plenty of good quality sleep can help improve your mood and increase your energy levels during the day.
Stay active. Exercise helps improve circulation and helps fight off infection. When it comes to staying healthy, winter is not the time to slack off. Just because you’re not sweating doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. It’s also important to stay hydrated. While you may not feel as thirsty in winter as you would in the warmer months, that doesn’t mean you don’t need water.
Make sure you get enough Vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in muscle function, immune health and cell growth. Sunlight helps our bodies produce this essential nutrient, but in winter, we tend to spend more time indoors where there isn’t much natural light. So, make sure you’re getting out for a walk every day or taking a supplement if necessary.
Finally, eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. They contain vitamins and antioxidants that help keep our immune system strong. Don’t skip meals, as eating regular, nutritious food throughout the day will help keep your energy levels stable and prevent feelings of depression.
If you’re concerned that your diet might not be providing you with all the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy, Lily & Loaf’s natural, nutritional supplements can help top up any shortfall.
We offer a wide range of adults’ general nutrition supplements that support better overall health and wellbeing, along with Healthy Rascals Mega Bears that can boost your kids’ immune systems too. And if you have furry friends in your household, we also have a range of general health supplements for pets.
So don’t let the wintry weather get you down. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be feeling healthy all winter long.