Pressure is mounting on the health service this winter. Over the last year, staff strikes have cost NHS hospitals £1.4 billion, leaving fewer beds available for vulnerable patients.
Looking after your health is a year-round commitment, but winter throws a few more demands into the mix. It’s so easy to stay cosy indoors and wrap up in a blanket as a form of self-care, but slipping away from your usual routines could be more harmful than you’d expect.
Through dark nights and cold winter weather, taking care of yourself is paramount. Whether you’re young, fit and strong, or building back fitness, it’s always worth knowing how to protect your health.
How to keep healthy through winter: Our top wellness tips
- Reduce the spread of germs
Staying germ-free will naturally protect you against airborne illnesses.
If you’re travelling on public transport or spending time in crowded places, try to wash your hands as regularly as possible. Use soap and warm water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. If you’re on the go, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser could work as a substitute.
- Get plenty of Vitamin D
Many people living in the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a type of depression that’s experienced in a seasonal pattern. Since most symptoms are usually more present and severe throughout winter, SAD is often known as winter depression.
The cause of the condition has been linked to reduced exposure to sunlight, which naturally occurs for those living in the northern hemisphere during winter.
Without sufficient sunlight, the production of hormones including melatonin and serotonin is reduced. Using a special lamp, taking Vitamin D supplements, and ensuring daily time outside could help to prevent SAD.
- Stay well rested
Getting enough sleep is the best way to give your immune system a boost. Most adults should aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, which is enough to give the body a chance to recover from activities throughout the week.
Quality sleep is crucial not only for immune function but also for cognitive well-being. In fact, certain supplements like magnesium threonate, known for its potential to support sleep quality, are gaining attention. If you’re interested, you can find and buy magnesium threonate(magnesium threonate kaufen) at your local healthcare store or online.
Establishing a nighttime routine helps you to practise good sleep hygiene, which may increase your chances of sleeping soundly through the night. This could include changing the bedsheets, limiting screen time after a certain point, and using products like whitening water flosser to ensure good dental hygiene.
- Find a skincare routine that suits you
In cold weather, your skin is more likely to become dry and irritated. No two skincare routines are the same, so you’ll need to understand the nature of your skin and try a few methods before you settle on a routine.
Starting with a cleanse is always a sensible idea. You could use a specific cleanser or just use fresh, warm water and a clean cloth. After you’ve cleansed, moisturising is an essential step through winter. Try to choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type too: oily skin generally only needs a light moisturiser, for example.
Is it safe to exercise outside in cold weather?
Yes! Keeping warm by movement is a wonderful way to keep healthy throughout the winter. There are various benefits to exercising or training in cold weather, and just a few of these include:
- It improves your mood
- You can still have a great cardiovascular workout
- Your body works harder to keep warm, so you might burn more calories
- Working your muscles gives your immune system a boost
If you’re taking the right steps to protect your health, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get out there and move your body through the winter. Doing so could lift your spirits, help your body fight infection, and prevent seasonal affective disorder too.