Winter Wellness

Posted on April 08, 2019.

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As the days become shorter and cooler it is very easy to abandon healthier summer routines and “bunker down” for winter, surrounded by our favourite comfort foods. Don’t be tempted – it is more important than ever to maintain good healthy habits at this time of year. Let’s look at some useful tips to stay well this winter.

Flu protection

This highly contagious respiratory illness is particularly dangerous to older people who account for some of highest rates of flu related hospitalisations in Australia each year. A seasonal flu vaccination will reduce your chances of catching this nasty infection and can minimise symptoms should you catch it. Older people in Australia now have access to two new “super vaccines” so speak with your GP sooner than later about being vaccinated.

One of the best ways to reduce the spread of infection is thorough and regular hand washing and staying away from others already infected - including the grandchildren!

Healthy eating

Winter weather makes us want to eat more of the foods that bring warmth and comfort and while it’s ok to enjoy the occasional hot chocolatey treat, it is important to maintain a balanced diet that is high in nutritional value.

Use a variety of the many delicious vegetables in season during winter that are perfect for hearty and healthy soups, stews and casseroles. Keeping up a healthy diet high in natural vitamins and minerals will strengthen your immune system against the many cold and flu germs that will be circulating at this time of year.

Check out the LiveLighter website for a great range of easy to prepare and healthy recipes.

It is always important to stay hydrated so even though you may be less thirsty in the winter months, remember to drink plenty of water.

Be active

It may be cold but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day! Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy brisk, refreshing walks, spend time in the garden or get some work done around the house. Take advantage of the milder weather to get out of the house and catch up with friends, enjoy some volunteer work and keep up with your regular social activities.

On rainy days, find at least 30 minutes of indoor exercise to help you feel revitalised. Keeping busy during winter will go a long way towards warding off those winter blues.

Stay warm safely

It’s a good idea to have your winter appliances checked to make sure they are safe for use. Gas heaters must be kept clean and serviced by a licensed gas fitter every two years and indoor fireplaces and heaters should have a securely fitted fireguard. If you have an electric blanket, make sure it is in good condition and check if it has been placed on a recall list by visiting the Product Safety Australia website. Health Direct states that since 2010 over 400 000 electric blankets have been deemed unsafe according to the ACCC.

For more good tips on winter health and safety, visit the Health Direct and Department of Health websites.