It can be harder for people to stay healthy in winter. More time cooped up in doors and a lack of daylight and sunshine can be draining both physically and mentally. But there are some things you can do to make sure you keep healthy this winter. Here’s what we recommend:
Spend some time outdoors
It’s important to try and get some fresh air daily. A walk into town or even around the garden can be a great mood booster. Being active is good for staying healthy and improving your circulation, so wrap up warm and head outside!
Get enough vitamin D
The sunlight in the UK between October and March doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to be able to make vitamin D, so it’s important to boost your vitamin D through food or take a supplement. Vitamin D rich foods include oily fish, red meat and eggs[i].
This is especially important for older people. It’s advisable not to sit still for longer than an hour without moving and to wear layers of clothing that trap warm air, rather than just one big layer. Make sure your heating is set to a comfortable temperature (at least 18C) and close curtains and windows on very cold days. Drinking warm food and drinks can also help.
It can be tempting to eat more comfort food in the winter months. This is fine as long as you balance it out by eating a variety of foods including plenty if fruit and veg. This can help boost your immune system and also ensure you don’t put on extra weight!
Stay in touch with others
Even though we spend more time indoors in winter doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch with family and friends. Speaking to people keeps our spirits up so make time to have regular catch ups with people, even if you can’t get out to see them face to face.
If you fancy it why not do some indoor exercises? There are plenty of YouTube videos aimed at older people that are gentle but cover a range of movements. Or try a bit of jogging or dancing on the spot. This will not only help you stay fit but will boost circulation and keep you warm at the same time!
It’s important to stay hydrated but often we can forget to drink as much during the winter as it’s not warm. Central heating though can be de-hydrating so make sure you drink enough water during the day. Remember tea/coffee and soft drinks all count towards staying hydrated but try to also include a few glasses of plain (tap or bottled) water too.