Although astronomical winter doesn’t start until 21 December, it’s definitely getting colder! I don’t know about you, but my Winter coats have come out and my heating has been turned on. Personally, I love winter. I love wrapping up warm, getting cosy in the evening while watching a film, and of course Christmas! Despite winter being my favourite season, it is also the season that I always catch a cold or two… or seven!
Staying healthy in winter is mostly down to common sense, things like wrapping up warm, washing your hands and eating healthily. However there are a few extra things you can do to keep those winter colds at bay:
Get lots of Vitamin D – Deficiencies in Vitamin D can lead to a weak immune system. Many English adults do fall short of their daily Vitamin D requirements and in winter, it can be difficult to get the amount you need. Good food sources of Vitamin D include mushrooms, egg yolks, salmon and tuna! If you’re struggling to eat enough of these then consider buying some supplements – most supermarkets sell them, just remember to take them on a full stomach.
Stay active – Winter is most people’s least active season, mainly because it’s cold and dark most of the time! But keeping moving reduces stress, keeps inflammation and chronic diseases at bay, and accelerates the circulation of white blood cells (cells that help fight the common cold). Keeping active doesn’t mean you have to run around the block or join a gym! A simple walk round the German Christmas Market or going out clubbing classes as being active.
Eat green – Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins which help you maintain a strong immune system.
Get plenty of sleep – I know you will have heard it a million times before, but a lack of sleep makes you more likely to develop viruses. This is because when you sleep, your body releases a protein called cytokine which helps the body to fight infection! Get those eight hours.
Get the flu vaccine – This vaccine is free for many people, and you can get it at your local GP. If you really want to avoid being ill, then it’s never a bad idea to get this!
I hope some of these tips will help you stay healthy this winter – after all, you don’t want to be poorly for Christmas!