Friday, December 11, 2020

3 Tips to Prevent Illness This Winter

 

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It’s winter again. It’s the time of year when you are increasingly susceptible to nasty colds and other viruses that can ruin your Christmas. The cold weather plays havoc on your immune system, making you and your family significantly more likely to catch one of the many diseases that spread easily in the winter months. 


The last thing you want is to spend your festive period sneezing into tissues or confined to your bedroom with a hot towel over your forehead. Your ability to avoid illness will depend largely on adopting good habits and taking precautions to keep yourself safe.


To help you avoid getting sick this winter, here are some handy tips for staying well.

Wash your hands more frequently

Viruses and germs spread easily from person to person. All it takes is a quick handshake with a sick person, and as soon as you touch your face those germs will enter your body. Germs can also lie in wait on door handles, kid’s school bags, and other items. By taking care to wash your hands regularly, you will greatly reduce your risk of being infected. Washing with hot water for 20 seconds will be sufficient to clean your hands of germs, and you should also encourage your family to follow these precautions as well. Carry a bottle of antibacterial hand sanitizer with you for those times when you’re out and about and don’t have access to hot water and soap.

Get enough sleep

Insufficient sleep can be disastrous for your physical health. It can temporarily weaken your immune system and impair your body’s ability to fight off diseases. If you are bad at getting your eight hours a night, you should take steps to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Try to follow a sleeping schedule, going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day. This will impart some regularity and structure into your sleeping patterns and make it easier to drop off at night. Limit your use of screens before bed, as these can emit a harsh blue light that keeps your brain wired. Turn your phone off after dinner and engage in more restful activities like reading or listening to music.

Stay warm

When you are cold and shivering, you are much more likely to get ill. Try to stay as warm as you possibly can to minimize your health risk. That doesn’t mean you have to rack up astronomical heating bills to keep your home warm, but you should at least take steps to ward off the cold. Dress warmly in multiple layers to trap heat close to your body, and drink lots of hot drinks such as herbal tea. Cooking warming comfort foods will keep you nice and toasty, and you can even leave the oven open after cooking to let that heat escape into your living space for no extra cost. Invest in some warm, thick bedding for a more comfortable night, and schedule in some high-intensity home workouts to get your blood pumping and your heart racing.


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