How to Stay Healthy This Winter: The Worst Seasonal Infections and How to Prevent Them

Stay Healthy This Winter : The cold, dark days of winter are upon us and that means less daylight, shorter commutes home from work, and more time sitting indoors with a steaming mug of something hot—and not always in the way we’d like. This is the perfect storm for getting sick. You see, many viruses thrive in closed spaces with lots of people packed together. They also love it when it’s cold and wet outside because that makes people more likely to stay indoors, where viruses can fester.

But while it’s no fun to get sick at any time of year, there’s something especially miserable about falling ill in the winter. Aside from covering every surface with germs (aka flu season), there’s something about being cooped up inside that feels even worse than usual when you have a virus. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent illness this season. Below are some tips on how to stay healthy through the worst of winter:

1) Keep your hands clean

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

If you can’t go a full winter without getting sick, the best thing you can do is to avoid touching germs in the first place. Hands are one of the biggest paths of transmission for viruses, and it’s almost impossible to keep them completely germ-free all the time.

When you’re at home, you can keep your hands clean by washing them often with soap and water. However, soap isn’t very effective when it comes to killing viruses, so it’s best to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on top of regular hand washing. Although hand sanitizer isn’t as effective as a bar of soap, it still works better than regular hand washing when it comes to killing germs.

2) Get sunshine when you can

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

When it comes to winter viruses, Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins to keep your immune system healthy and combat winter illnesses. It also helps with regulating mood and preventing depression. Many people experience seasonal depression (aka winter blues) due to a lack of sunlight and Vitamin D.

As we head into winter, it’s important to remember that the sun’s rays have less power to give you a boost of Vitamin D, so it’s best to get your recommended daily intake in the fall and early spring. Walking outside with minimal clothing on a sunny day is one of the best ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. If you have sensitive skin, you can always wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a hat.

3) Stay away from public places when you’re sick

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

You have the flu, you’re feeling awful, and you can’t imagine staying away from work and public places right now because you feel so bad. But, as tempting as it is to tough it out, you’re doing everyone else a favour by staying home when you’re sick. If you have a contagious illness such as a cold or flu, you can easily pass it on to others without even realizing you’re doing so. That’s why it’s best to stay away from public places like work, school, grocery stores, and public transit when you’re sick. You can also help prevent others from getting sick by cleaning up any mess you make as soon as possible.

4) Use a humidifier to fight dry air

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

Dry air can be a serious problem during cold winter months. It can cause headaches, dry skin, and even worsen seasonal allergies in some people. Furthermore, it’s been linked to an increased risk of heart and lung diseases, as well as poor sleep.

To combat these concerns, you can use a humidifier to keep your home environment more humid. While some humidifiers put out mists that can be bad for your health, others are specially designed to emit only clean steam.

If you want to keep your home environment healthy without spending a lot of money, invest in a humidifier.

5) Don’t forget to wash your bedding and clothes

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

Catching a cold is a nasty experience no matter how old you are. But if you’re a kid or you were born with a weaker immune system, it can be especially dangerous. That’s why you should always wash your bedding and clothes as soon as they’re dirty, even if they only get a light stain. For example, if you come down with a cold, you should get a new set of sheets as soon as possible. It’s best to wash them at least once a week, too. The same goes for clothes that have been exposed to illness, like sports gear or work uniforms.

6) Get a flu shot if you can

Stay Healthy This Winter
Stay Healthy This Winter

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If you’re able to get a flu shot, you should. The flu is extremely painful and often causes people to miss work and school. If you live in a city with a bad smog problem like Beijing, it can also make you sicker.

If you’re able to, try to get a flu shot before winter. They become less effective as we head further into flu season and, like most preventative measures, they’re not infallible.

Still, the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get vaccinated as early as possible.

And remember that even if you do get the flu, it’s important to stay hydrated. Flu-like symptoms can be made worse by dehydration, so stay away from caffeine and drink lots of water.

Also refer to : 6 Tips for Better Health You Can Start Doingmmediately

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