In winter, the sun sets earlier, the air is colder, and we spend less time being active outside and more time eating starchy and sugary meals inside. Our tendency to sleep a lot is not good for our health. Our immune system gets weaker, which makes it easier for winter viruses to take hold.
Winter is hard, and not just because you have to shovel snow off your driveway. Flu viruses, dry skin, and the winter blues are just some of the health problems that can happen in the winter.
There are, however, things you can do to stay healthy and happy until spring.
Here are seven things you can do to stay healthy and safe
1. Wear a few thin layers
Let’s start with the most important things. Layers of loose-fitting clothing work best to keep the body’s heat in when the inner layer is insulating and the outer layer is resistant to wind and water. The warmer you are, the less skin you show. If your clothes get wet, they lose most or all of their ability to keep you warm and instead move heat away from your body. Even the warmest down-filled coat is useless if it gets wet.
2. Be careful when you use a shovel
Snow shoveling causes up to 100 deaths and thousands of injuries every year, and not just among the elderly. Whoever isn’t physically active regularly and isn’t in good shape should pay someone else to do the job. Also, don’t think that a snow blower will make things safer. It is a heavy machine that can put stress on the heart, especially when it is cold.
3. Take care of your health
Keep yourself well-fed and hydrated, and wash your hands often. Get a flu shot every year and, if you’re over 65, at least one and, ideally, both of the available pneumonia vaccines. This will keep you from getting dangerous infections.
4. Go for garlic
Chemicals in garlic that contain sulphur make T-lymphocytes and macrophages work better, which in turn helps the body fight off the common cold. Your immune system will be stronger if you eat garlic raw or cooked.
5. Foods that have zinc
Zinc keeps the immune system from getting weak. Eat enough oysters, liver, lean beef, pork, turkey, lamb, lentils, garbanzo beans, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and yogurt.
6. Get good sleep
One of the best ways to recharge after a stressful day is to go to sleep. Make sure you sleep somewhere dark so your body can make melatonin, which is known to help heal the immune system.
7. Breathe easier
Dry winter air can make your nose dry out. Even though the idea of having less sticky mucus in your nose may sound good, it is not the best thing. What’s going on? This goo keeps you from getting sick because it traps pathogens.
This is one reason why winter is a common time for respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, sinusitis, and even nosebleeds.
Don’t worry about the winter. These tips are meant to help you stay healthy and warm. If you always do what these instructions say, you will love the winter.