For many of us, winter is a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. But it’s also a time when we’re more susceptible to colds and the flu. While there’s no sure-fire way to avoid getting sick during this time of year, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of illness and stay healthy.
Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy throughout the winter season:
One of the best ways to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Getting the flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the seasonal flu virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available. If you’re against becoming vaccinated, then consider wearing a mask whenever you’re out in public.
Wash Your Hands Often
One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of illness is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from germs. Make sure to wash them often throughout the winter, especially before eating or touching your face. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. And don’t forget to scrub under your nails!
Avoid Touching Your Face
We touch our faces an average of 23 times per hour, which gives viruses ample opportunity to enter our bodies through our eyes, nose, or mouth. This is why wearing a mask is so important. The team at Zxmed PPE LLC recommends wearing a mask to prevent the spread of germs and your risk of infection. It’s also important to avoid touching your face as much as possible. To avoid getting sick, you should always wash your hands before you touch your face.
Stay Warm and Dry
Keeping your body temperature stable helps protect you from getting sick. When you go outside in cold weather, dress in layers so you can adjust if you start to feel too warm or too cold. And be sure to change out of wet clothes as soon as possible—wet clothes increase your risk of developing a cold or the flu.
Healthy eating habits are important throughout the year, but they’re especially critical in the winter months when your immune system is more vulnerable. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals will help boost your immune system making it easier for your body to fight off infection and help keep you feeling energized throughout the season. Focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals, as they provide essential nutrients that can help fight off illnesses.
It’s easy to become sedentary during the winter months, so make sure to stay active with regular physical activity. Not only does exercise help build a stronger immune system, but it can also reduce stress and improve mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week. If you’re not a fan of going to the gym or running, consider finding an activity you enjoy, such as dancing or walking.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for good health—you need an average of 7-8 hours per night for adults 18 years of age and older, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Consider going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, try relaxing activities before bed, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking lots of fluids helps thin mucus secretions, making them easier for your body to expel. It also prevents dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to illness. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day, more if you’re active or live in a dry climate. Soups, herbal teas, and fruit juices are all good options, too!
Reduce Stress Levels
Chronic stress can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off colds and the flu. To reduce stress levels, practice deep breathing techniques, do yoga or tai chi, meditate or journal, and get plenty of physical activity.
Keep Your Home Clean
Germs can easily spread in a cluttered home, so make sure to keep your home clean and tidy all winter long. Vacuum, dust, mop floors, and wipe down surfaces often to reduce the number of airborne particles that could carry cold or flu viruses.
Get Some Sunlight
Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system and can help protect against colds and the flu. Try to get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day, or take a vitamin D supplement if necessary.
Create a Support System
Having friends and family around you who understand what you’re going through can make the winter much more bearable. Reach out to your loved ones for support when you need it, or consider joining a local support group or online forum made up of people dealing with similar issues. Remember that you are not alone!
At the end of the day, our health is in our own hands. By following these ten tips, you’ll be better equipped to fight off illness this winter season—and enjoy all that it has to offer! Get out there and have fun while staying safe and healthy. Happy winter!