Some tips for staying healthy this winter
With the colder months approaching, we all need to stay vigilant this winter to avoid getting sick and passing our ailments onto others! Here are some small tips that can go a long way to helping you and your family stay happy and healthy this winter.
- Drink plenty of water – it might not be hot any more but it is equally important to stay properly hydrated during winter. In addition, regular saline nasal spray and mouth gargle are excellent ways of preventing the buildup of bacteria in the nasal and throat area.
- Wash your hands often – one of the sure ways to avoid getting sick is proper hygiene and it all starts with our hands. Make sure you wash your hands properly and often, especially when venturing outside of the house. Consider keeping a hygiene solution close by to kills those bugs in their tracks.
- Eat and healthy diet – the best way to strengthen your immune system naturally is by eating a healthy diet. It is tempting to eat more of those warm comfort foods that are often high in fat, salt and sugar but these have very low nutritional benefit. Instead, eating warm and nourishing soups and stews full of healthy vegetables and keep you healthy and happy this winter. Try to include winter fruit and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals such as sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, kiwi fruit, mandarins, bananas, garlic and ginger.
- Consider getting the flu vaccination – if you feel you are prone to illness and easily catch other people’s colds and flus, consider getting the flu shot this winter which can reduce the risk of contracting the influenza virus and decrease its severity.
- Get moving – we’re much less likely to be out and about during the colder months but here in Kuwait we are lucky that winter is very pleasant. So make the effort to get moving and get your heart rate up! Studies have shown that on top of all the health benefits associated with increased exercise, it also increases your immunity making you less likely to contract illnesses.
- Bundle up and stay warm – whilst blizzards and snow storms are not common events here in Kuwait, temperatures can get very low, especially during the evenings. Crisp desert winds are not something we want to face without being adequately dressed. So make sure you put those layers on as the temperature This is particularly crucial for those suffering from arthritis, asthma and other rheumatologic diseases. Also, for those of you who suffer from recurrent sinusitis or nasal congestion, it is important to keep your nasal area warm which can be done by covering the area with a scarf.
- Dry atmosphere – as a principle, bacteria and viruses are more likely to flourish in humid environments. That is why keeping our hands, surfaces, towels, door handles and clothes etc. free from humidity will help prevent the transmission and reproduction of viruses and bacteria (as well as fungi!).
- For those suffering from eczema and skin hypersensitivity, make sure to continue using your moisturizers and lotions as required before exposure to the cold dry air which may exacerbate your symptoms.
- The layers of pollution in our atmosphere tend to drop during colder periods. For those prone to allergies as well as cardiac diseases, try to avoid built up areas where the air pollution is obvious or consider wearing a proper mask if you cannot avoid these areas. So use these tips to help you stay happy and healthy this winter and always remember that prevention is far more important than treatment!