Tis the season! When winter hits, you know it’s time to gather with family and friends for the holidays, wrap up your last minute shopping, and schedule your dinner plans inside where it’s warm. It’s also the time of the year where germs love to gather and help spread illness. Here are some simple tips to keep you healthy this winter:
Practice Good Hygiene
- Avoid sneezing or coughing directly into your hands. Try to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into your elbow.
- Wash your hands in warm, soapy water regularly (especially before and after prepping food, and after you sneeze) for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean the shared areas in your household frequently. Wiping down faucets, door handles, light switches, and other ‘high-touch’ surfaces will help kill germs quickly.
- Stay home if you are sick. To avoid spreading more germs and passing illnesses, stay home if get sick. If you are unable to stay home until you’re healthy again, grab a mask and try to keep your distance from others to avoid spreading your illness.
It’s easy to get your vegetables and fruits in from your summer gardens, but it’s also important to add these to your diet during the winter as well. Foods like almonds, spinach, and broccoli not only add great flavor to recipes, but they are also said to boost your immune system. Mix up some fruit in your breakfast smoothie or pile vegetables into your next casserole. Your taste buds and body will thank you later!
While getting your daily run/walk in might be difficult in the shorter and colder days, it’s still important to keep your body moving. If you can, set up a space in your house to workout. A home workout is a great way to stay active in the winter! Whether you’re lifting weights, doing yoga, or following along to a Zumba workout, it’s a great way to get your daily movement in. If you’re dedicated to going to the gym instead of working out at home, reach out to a few friends and see if anyone would be your accountability partner- it’ll be a lot harder to stay in the warm house when you have a plan in place!
Keep drinking your water even if the weather is not as hot as the summer months. For most adults, the daily recommendation for water intake is half a gallon (64 ounces), although some people may need more or less than that. If you get sick, make sure you increase your water intake so you can replace the fluids your body lost during the illness.
Pay Attention to Mental Health
Many people suffer from seasonal depression or the winter blues. Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health- if your mental health is struggling, there is a good chance you will feel that physically as well and vice versa. Moving your body, connecting with loved ones, or finding a hobby to pass the time might help shake the winter blues until spring. If you need more support, talking to a professional might be the right move for you.
We might think that alcohol relaxes us (we all have said ‘I need a drink’ at one point, right?), but it actually does the total opposite. Alcohol has been known to increase your stress and anxiety levels, mess with your sleep, and weaken your immune system. Consider swapping an alcoholic drink for a glass of water. Whether that glass of water replaces your nightcap or is a spacer between drinks at an event, your body will thank you for it the next day- and in the long run.
For more health tips and to make sure you and your family have the proper insurance coverage this winter, reach out to your local Rural Mutual agent.