Winter in the UK brings with it cold and gloomy days that make it much more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Despite this, we should not let our guard down when it comes to managing our health in winter. Staying active, sleeping well, and taking vitamins can all help during wintertime to prevent winter illnesses and feel good. Below are our top tips for managing your health in winter.
Know The Common Signs Of Winter Illnesses
You are more likely to get ill in winter, so knowing the common signs of winter illnesses will make sure you catch it early to get the correct treatment. The cold itself cannot make you ill, but colder weather makes it easier for viruses and bacteria to thrive. Cold weather also affects our immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illness.
Colds and flu are very prevalent during wintertime in the UK, so if you start to feel chesty, tired, and begin coughing or sneezing, it is best to stay in bed and hydrate. Another common winter illness is pneumonia, which is an inflammation of the lung tissue. The common symptoms include shivering, joint pain, headaches, and loss of appetite. You may need an antibiotic, so you should speak to your doctor if you think you have pneumonia and you are not getting better.
It can be much harder to get motivated and exercise when it is freezing outside. Even if heading out to the gym does not seem appealing, there are plenty of ways you can get active and exercise in your own home. Winter is not the time to give up on your exercise plans, as exercise is a great way to improve your energy during the cold months. It can also boost your mood too. No matter how you do it, make sure to get active for around 30 minutes a day.
Get Good Quality Sleep
Getting good quality sleep will really help with your energy and mood levels during the winter months and can make it easier to exercise and eat well. When we feel tired, we are less likely to take care of ourselves, and cooking becomes a much harder task.
To improve the quality of your sleep and avoid waking up early, you may want to time your heating to come on just before you are due to wake up. As the nights and days are darker, avoid oversleeping by setting the alarm. Wrap up warm at night so that the cold does not disrupt your sleep. Try a calming meditation before bed to help you switch off and fall asleep easily. Make sure to keep screens out of the bedroom too, as this can make it harder to fall asleep.
As the cold weather can disrupt our immune systems, it is best to wrap up during winter. This can make it easier to head outside in the cold and will reduce your energy bills at home. Whilst you still want to keep your house warm, this is a great excuse to get out your fluffy dressing gown or your favourite onesie. If you are feeling cold, pop the kettle on and have a lemon and ginger tea. These natural ingredients can boost your immune system and leave you feeling refreshed and energised during winter.
Taking vitamins all year round has a myriad of health benefits, but more so during winter. As the UK rarely gets enough sun, vitamin D is recommended by the NHS. This can help your immune system and keep your teeth and bones strong and healthy. You can also improve your diet to get more natural vitamins and minerals, but the best way to ensure optimum health is by taking multivitamins. You can ask your doctor to do a blood test if you feel like you may be lacking in some vitamins.
During winter, it can become more difficult to get out of the house and see people. On cold, dark days, all you want to do is stay at home by the fire. Winter is actually a common time to feel anxiety and depression, and some people experience SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the winter months. Making sure to keep on top of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so take the time to invite friends and family over and spend time with loved ones. Even if you cannot get out of as much, there is plenty to do inside!
These winter health tips can keep you feeling happy and healthy during wintertime in the UK from exercising to staying social. The cold can make it harder to stay motivated when it comes to health but failing to do so leaves us more open to winter illness. If you are struggling with your health during winter, speak to your doctor.