There is nothing worse than having a sickness or injury slow you down, and every season presents a variety of ailments. Winter is a beautiful season filled with holidays and warm gatherings, but it also poses a very unique set of health threats. From colds and flu, to slip and falls, winter can wreak havoc on one’s body. But, it doesn’t have to.
While everyone’s bodies are different, and nothing health-related is a guarantee, following these eight steps will help you and your family fight off winter’s effects on the body.
- Flu shots: Get a flu shot to dramatically decrease your chances of contracting the virus. It also helps reduce the effects if you contract illness. And no, you will not get the flu from getting the shot.
- Bundle up: To fight off winter weather, bundle up to minimize the amount of skin exposed to the elements. Dress in layers, this includes your legs, paired with a warm hat, thick gloves, and winter socks.
- Sleep: Make sleep a priority. Healthy adults require between seven and nine hours sleep each night. Kids and teens require a couple hours more.
- Hand washing: Sickness can easily be passed around from person to person. Be vigilant about washing your hands every time you sneeze or cough, use the restroom, and before meals.
- Moisturize: Use a moisturizer on parts of your body – hands, feet, face, and scalp – that are susceptible to flaking and cracking.
- Wear proper footwear: When walking on snow or ice it’s important to have a quality pair of insulated and water-resistant boots with good rubber treads to navigate these dangerous surfaces.
- Stress relief: Fend off the winter blues with relaxation, exercise, connecting with friends, sleep, setting a routine, making plans, and spending time outside.
- Get your vitamin D: Don’t let winter cause a Vitamin D deficiency. Either take a supplement or eat foods that are rich in vitamin D, these include: salmon, tuna, mushrooms, eggs, and milk.
If you do become sick or injured schedule a visit with your primary care doctor. If more immediate attention is required, urgent care centers provide walk-in service for all non-life threatening ailments.
Remember, personal health is a keystone to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Therefore it’s important to take these extra precautions to enjoy a happy and healthy winter season!
James J. Flowers, DO, MBA, FACEP, FACOEP, is the Medical Director of Urgent Care Services at Cooper. Learn more about our urgent care approach and locations by clicking here. For more great winter health tips download our free Winter Health guide.