November 28, 2013

Looking after yourself in the winter can mean more than just bringing out the winter wardrobe. Here are some handy tips for other things you can do to ensure you stay warm and healthy over the winter period.

Keep your home warm. We’re sure you will have turned your heating on already, but have you got it set to the right temperature? The NHS advises your living room should be 18-21OC and the rest of the house a minimum of 16OC. Stop the heat escaping by ensuring all your windows and doors are closed. Keep your internal doors closed so you keep the heat in the room you are in. At night make sure your curtains are closed too. See our article on protecting your home this winter for more tips.

Keep your bed warm. Use an electric blanket or hot water bottle to stay warm at night while you’re in bed

Keep warm when going outdoors. Remember to wear extra layers if you are going to be outdoors for a while, a few thin layers instead of one thick layer will be more effective. Wear warm shoes with good grip as well to make sure you stay on your feet!

Keep active. Moving around is a good way to keep warm in the winter, as well as keep on top of your health. You might not want to go for long walks in the outdoors at this time of year, so find new ways to keep active indoors.

Eat well. Food is one of the main ways our bodies keep warm. Make sure that you have plenty of hot meals and drinks through the day. Don’t forget to keep eating healthily too – with lots of fruits and vegetables to fight off winter viruses. It’s also a good idea to keep a few days worth of non-perishable food and water in your home in case you get snowed in.

Get your flu jab. The flu virus can spread quickly in the winter so take the steps you can to protect yourself. The flu jab is free on the NHS if you are over 65, pregnant, live in a residential home, care for an older or disabled person or have certain medical conditions.

Practice good hygiene. Because flu is more of a risk in winter, it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene to stop the spread of the virus. Wash your hands regularly and disinfect your surfaces. Also if you do get ill, do not share towels or face cloths etc. with other people, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and try to avoid contact with others who are vulnerable such as the elderly.

Learn some basic first aid. Snow and icy conditions mean an increase in trips and falls that can result in strains, sprains and broken bones. Prepare yourself to be able to help someone out if they fall by knowing some basic first aid. The NHS has some advice here.

Check on your neighbours. As well as making sure you are prepared, you should help out any elderly or disabled neighbours prepare too. See our article about looking after your local community this winter for more ways to help.

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