When winter comes around, it seems as though everybody starts to get sick. And although cold and flu symptoms are often amplified if one is living in a cold weather climate, people can, and do, still get sick in warm, winter places. So how do you kick the winter blues? Precautions like eating healthy meals that include foods that are full of nutrients and vitamins, staying active, washing your hands frequently and bundling up in cold weather will hopefully prepare you for winter.
Food can have a major effect on your body’s ability to stave off a cold. When a diet is balanced and contains vital nutrients and vitamins, your body’s immune system becomes stronger which helps it fight sickness. Incorporate protein, carbohydrates and vegetables into your meals and don’t forget to eat fruit! Fruit, especially citrus, contains vitamins that will make you feel better during the winter months. If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet, check out a vitamin storefor small, easy to swallow vitamins that can supplement your meals.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is also a prevalent illness in areas where it is cold and cloudy. The result is the “winter blues,” where people are often depressed and lackadaisical throughout the day. It is believed that SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight along with a Vitamin D deficiency. Once again, you can find supplements to get the proper amount of vitamin D and, oftentimes, supplements of certain vitamins are combined with other nutrients, for instance calcium and vitamin D. Consult a doctor before taking any vitamin supplements.
During the winter it’s very important to get out and exercise. A brisk walk around the block can get your blood pumping, as can simple snow shoveling. It’s important to get outside to, not only get your blood flowing, but to be exposed to the sun.
Healthy habits include frequent hand washing, sneezing into sleeves versus hands and protecting your body from the elements. First and foremost, if you go outside in the cold, cover your hands, head and other extremities with warm hats, gloves and scarves as these areas are more susceptible to heat loss. Next, especially if you travel by public transportation, wash your hands frequently to avoid germ transfer. Also, avoid touching your face as germs travel through the nose, eyes and mouth. Always carry a bottle of antibacterial hand cleaner with you in the event you don’t have access to a sink. Also, if you do happen to fall victim to an unfortunate cold or flu, help others stay healthy by sneezing into your sleeves versus your hands.
With these precautions, you should be prepared for the winter cold season, but do remember that if you get sick, stay home so you don’t infect others.