Here are a few tips to incorporate into your winter routine until the March equinox heralds the beginning of spring.
Stay Physically Active
Despite the strong urge we all have to curl up on the couch on those cold winter days, we all need to keep physically active. If you already have a workout routine, try to stick to it. If you must, exercise at home instead of the gym. Exercise strengthens your immune system and lowers your stress levels. Stress can make it harder for us to fight off infections, like a cold or the flu, which are especially prevalent during the winter months.
Treat Hypothermia & Frostbite
Always treat hypothermia and frostbite immediately. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temp drops to below 95 °F. Frostbite, on the other hand, occurs due to the freezing of the skin and underlying tissue. Of note, even skin that is protected can get frostbitten—it’s the most common injury caused by severe cold. At the first sign of any cold injury, remove any wet clothing, and move the person to a protected environment.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
A simple, basic tenet of infectious disease control is regular handwashing. Handwashing can reduce the incidence of respiratory infections in the general population by 16% to 21%.
Eating right is a must to stay healthy all winter long, and with the holiday season past us, it may be easier to do so. Here are a few tips on which food choices may help you stay healthy.
- Eat more fiber.
- Eat more dark green and orange vegetables.
- Spice up your cooking.
Get Enough Sleep
Did you know well-rested people who get the flu vaccine often go on to develop better immunity against the flu than those who are sleep deprived? Indeed, it has been clinically shown that a lack of sleep could jeopardize the effectiveness of vaccines. Sleep is especially important in the winter when the cold temperatures, drastic changes in climate, increased physical requirements of just getting around can use up all of your energy.
Winter is a beautiful season, but it can take a toll on your health. Remember these tips, and try to incorporate them into your winter routine to stay healthy and better enjoy the season to the fullest.