Top tips to keep your win­ter months healthy

Don’t let the chilly weather put a freeze on your lifestyle

Style Magazine - - Health - BY SHARON LABI BODY+SOUL

WIN­TER can be a try­ing time both men­tally and phys­i­cally. The days are darker, colder and shorter and our bod­ies be­come more sus­cep­ti­ble to all kinds of win­ter nas­ties like colds and flu. While it sounds tempt­ing just to stay in­side and hide from it all, be­ing proac­tive about your health and well­be­ing will help en­sure that you make it through the cooler months cold and flu-free, and in tip-top shape to en­joy the summer.

Wash hands

Sounds sim­ple but it’s the num­ber one way to stop the spread of germs. Ex­perts rec­om­mend wash­ing hands ev­ery few hours and in par­tic­u­lar after us­ing the toi­let and be­fore meals. Give them a wash after touch­ing some­one else’s phone or key­board at work.

Get vac­ci­nated

The sea­sonal flu jab pro­vides 12 months of cover against the ma­jor strains of flu including the 2009 pan­demic swine flu. If you’re con­sid­ered at risk (for ex­am­ple over 65, preg­nant, or have a chronic ill­ness), the gov­ern­ment picks up the tab.

Keep ex­er­cis­ing

It’s hard to get mo­ti­vated when it’s cold and dark, but your body has to work over­time to get warm, so you can burn more kilojoules on that early morn­ing walk or run. Find an ex­er­cise part­ner to keep you mo­ti­vated, go to the gym or do laps at an in­door pool.

Eat well

Keep your im­mune sys­tem in shape by mak­ing sure you’re eat­ing a healthy diet. For your body to be able to re­spond to in­fec­tion, it needs to have enough pro­tein, so en­joy lean meat, fish and poul­try.

Dose up on vi­ta­mins and min­er­als

Iron, zinc and vi­ta­min C are also key to a healthy im­mune sys­tem. But be­fore pop­ping sup­ple­ments, boost your di­etary in­take of these sub­stances. Look for dark, leafy greens and red and yel­low veg­eta­bles, which are all high in an­tiox­i­dants.

Stay hy­drated

Drink at least eight glasses of wa­ter each day. If cold wa­ter is un­ap­peal­ing when the mer­cury dips, try boiled wa­ter with a slice of le­mon. The mois­ture will also help make mu­cous mem­branes, including those in your si­nuses, more re­sis­tant to bac­te­ria.

Rest up

Reg­u­lar sleep is vi­tal to stay­ing healthy. Don’t let your­self get run down. Those who aren’t well rested are more likely to get sick.

Clean up win­ter mould

Mould can trig­ger nasal con­ges­tion, sneez­ing, cough­ing, wheez­ing, res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions and worsen asthma and al­ler­gic con­di­tions. So move your spring clean to au­tumn.

Save your skin

Cold air, wind and heat­ing will dry out your skin, so keep your face and body well moisturised.

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