Winter has arrived and with it comes cold and flu season. There are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your home healthy this winter.
Rub-a-Dub & Scrub
Common winter ailments such as colds, flu and gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu) are spread by germs on your hands. Frequently washing your hands, wiping down surfaces that get touched often (e.g. cell phones, remote controls, door handles) and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing are all ways of avoiding getting sick and spreading illness.
You Are What You Eat
Winter time is synonymous with comfort food and eating but are you getting the immune boosting nutrients you need from that bowl of rich and gooey mac ‘n cheese?
Regardless of the time of year, you need to keep eating healthy in order to keep your immune system strong. Foods high in vitamin C will help boost your immune system include fresh fruits like: oranges, naartjies, kiwi fruit, and vegetables like: green peppers and broccoli.
It’s also important to keep hydrated during winter, so keep that water bottle out and full all year round, not just during summer.
As tempting as your couch, blanket and tv are during those cold winter nights, being social helps strengthen your immune system by reducing stress levels and keeping you active.
So instead of binge watching the latest “It” series, why not invite friends over for a games evening or dinner or warm up with a walk around the local park or shopping centre with your partner or family.
Catch Some Zzzzzzz’s
Lack of sleep can deplete your immune system leaving you more susceptible to catching colds and flu.
Spoil yourself on cold winter nights with a relaxing bedtime routine – have a warm bath or shower, warm your bed with a hot water bottle, switch off your tv, computer, tablet and cell phone at least an hour before you climb into bed, this will allow melatonin (the sleep hormone) to do its job and help you get a good nights sleep.
Conville, N. (2011). 5 Steps to Staying Healthy in Winter. Retrieved from: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health-advice/5-steps-to-staying-healthy-in-winter/news-story/df8b268bf97e2b2d7c8165c5799b13aa. [Accessed: 05 July 2016]
SA Health. (2015). Keeping Healthy this Winter. Retrieved from: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/healthy+living/top+tips+for+healthy+living/keeping+healthy+this+winter. [Accessed: 05 July 2016]