Winter Health and Self Care

The weather may be turning chilly but there’s no excuses for eating well and keeping warm this winter.

Tips to keep your best

Enjoy the outdoors

  • Go outside as much as possible and soak up some natural daylight, local walks are a great way to get the whole family out and also gives the kid’s a chance to run around and enjoy the winter season
  • Try and get to bed the same time each evening and wake the same time each day, it’ll give you much needed rest so you can start the day energised and ready to go!
  • Exercise or meditate to de-stress every day, making the time to do this will greatly improve your general well being and boost your mood.

Five a day

  • As the days get colder and darker, it’s very tempting to choose processed meals or take out’s when you feel lacking in energy, soups and stews are a great way to get five a day and can all be thrown into one pot.
  • If you’re craving sugary foods why not make a mini fruit salad with two fruits chopped into cubes.
  • Alternate the fruit and veg each when shopping each week, it’s a great way you and the family to try new fruit and veg, try whizzing some fruit up in a blender with some milk, as a quick and healthy after school snack alternative for the children.

Add more milk

Keeping your immune system healthy during this time of year when cold’s and flu are usually the topic of the day, is key to making sure you’re keeping healthy during winter. Dairy products such as milk and cheese, yogurts and fromage frais are an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamins A and B12.

Family Activity ideas

  • Winter walks round the local neighbourhood and parks is a great way to get in some exercise and get the children outdoors from being cooped up inside
  • National trust parks are all over the uk and also hold events throughout the year, they’re a great way to visit somewhere new and get some fresh air at the same time
  • Ice skating whether you’re new or advanced, it’s a fun way to get the family together and get active
  • Swimming is a great way to get active and also get children confident in being in the water
  • Regular exercise, whichever you choose to take part in can boost the immune system, control weight and could help you distress.

Make time for Breakfast

  • Wholegrain cereals and porridge are a great way to add fibre and protein to your diet so you’re not reaching for sugary snacks mid-morning and keep your energy levels high. Oats contain lots of vitamins and minerals and keep you fuller for longer.
  • Why not add some fruit to help you on your way to five a day,.

Most at risk during winter

When the temperature dips below 8c you’re at a greater risk of flu, pneumonia, stroke and even heart attacks.

  • 65 or older
  • Newborn to school age children
  • Those on low income
  • Those with a mental health condition
  • Pregnant
  • Disabled
  • Or you have a long term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease.

Keeping the house toasty

  • Heat the home to atleast 18c, especially if you are immobile, 65 or over
  • Keep the bedroom at 18c during the night and the window closed.
  • During the day you may want to keep the home warmer than 18c, especially when children are home or elderly.
  • If you’re active, healthy and under 65, you could leave your home cooler if it suits you.
  • Close curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to rooms that are not in use to keep them warmer
  • Get the boiler and heating system checked by a professional to ensure it’s working well throughout winter so you don’t have to worry about it not working when you need it most
  • Add extra layers, thermal socks or slippers, especially to children and yourselves when the temperature is in the minus, especially if some rooms have draughts coming through the door, as it can still feel chilly.

Staying healthy during winter

  • The flu jab is offered routinely and may be free if you are eligible
  • Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket at night to stay warmer when the heating may be off during the night
  • Try to keep moving every hour and stretch your legs, especially if you are home for long periods of time.
  • Have plenty of hot drinks such as tea’s or even warm water, and at least one warm meal a day.
  • When outdoors, ensure you’re wearing warm shoes/boots, hat and scarf, with thermal gloves to ensure you’re protected from the elements especially in adverse weather conditions.

Weather watch

  • Always keep upto date with the latest weather via the news, MET office website or have friends and family send you information if you don’t have access to a computer or tv.
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