The winter season brings with it crisp air, cosy jumpers, warm drinks and of course lots of festivities. Unfortunately, it also brings with it flu season. It’s so important to know how you can prepare for winter and keep your immune system strong throughout the colder months. Read our health tips to prepare you for winter.
Flu and getting the flu jab – Who’s entitled to it?
The flu virus is very contagious and spreads easily through contact with other people and infected air. Although most healthy adults will recover quickly and with mild effects, there are those for whom the virus poses more of a risk. Those who are older in age, children and those with weakened immune systems are at risk of developing more dangerous infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. To reduce the risk of the flu spreading there are many simple things we can do, for example, making sure we wash our hands frequently, covering our mouths when we cough and for some, getting the flu jab.
So who should receive the flu jab and where can it be done? If you’re over 65 you’ll be entitled to the flu jab free from the NHS through your GP. You may also be entitled to the flu jab for free if you have certain medical conditions or are pregnant. If you don’t qualify for the flu jab from your GP, you can purchase it at a low cost from many pharmacies.
Very few people can’t have the flu jab; your GP will be able to advise whether they think you are suitable for it so it’s worth checking.
Staying healthy in the colder months
Eating lots of fresh fish throughout winter will ensure you’re not deficient in any vital vitamins such as vitamin A and D. Another way to get the vitamins you need to stay healthy throughout winter is to feast on fruit and vegetables. Make a conscious effort to load your plate with veggies or make a homemade vegetable soup for those cold winter nights! Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat; it’s also about staying active. This may seem like an arduous task when it’s cold outside but it doesn’t have to be and intense workout. Practicing yoga a few times a week or going for a brisk stroll is enough to keep you moderately active which has been proven to reduce your risk of catching a cold.
Relax and unwind
As well as staying active, it’s important to take the time out to relax and unwind in the colder months. If you do feel a cold coming on, don’t overexert yourself, treat yourself to a massage and rest. Nipping a cold in the bud is the best way to stop it getting worse. You might want to try hot water with fresh lemon and a teaspoon of Manuka honey mixed in, this is said to soothe a sore throat and it’s the perfect warm drink before bed. Getting a good night’s sleep is also an important factor into staying healthy over winter. If you’ve done all of the above but aren’t getting enough sleep, your body will be too tired to process and make the most of the care you’ve given it!
We hope our tips have helped you prepare for Winter and you manage to avoid the flu this year!