10 Ways to stay healthy during winter | Western Cape Government

10 Ways to stay healthy during winter

workout-groupThe secret to good health lies in making wise choices about the way we live. With our doors and windows closed during winter, it’s easy to spread a cold, avoid a workout or feel low on energy.

You may wonder how to stay fit. Think about your everyday habits and cut down on anything that’s bad for your health. Decrease the intake of junk food and increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients.

There are many things to keep in mind. Use these tips to make smart choices about your health.

  1. Exercise regularly
    Exercise to increase your energy, improve your mood manage weight gain. If an outdoor activity such as running doesn’t appeal to you, try working out at home.  Try to exercise for 30 minutes per day and three times per week.
  2. Drink water
    Your body needs water in winter as much as it does during summer.  Drinking water can combat dehydration, that leaves you feeling tired. It also helps with weight loss.
  3. Eat well
    Choose healthy foods that contain plenty of nutrients to increase your immunity against disease.  Eliminate salty and sugary foods. Instead, increase your consumption of winter squash, citrus fruits, cabbage and lentils.  Fruits are also a great source of water.
  4. Fresh Air
    Allow stale air to leave your home, office or car by opening windows. This creates a germ free environment and decreases your chances of getting seasonal colds and flu.
  5. Wash your hands
    It may be an everyday task, but washing your hands properly can prevent the spread of germs. Remember, we touch many surfaces and need to sanitise our hands regularly.  Keep hand sanitiser or wet wipes. Or use water and soap with warm water.
  6. Cough etiquette
    Cough into your elbow or upper sleeve so that germs won’t spread when you use your hands.  When sneezing, use a tissue and don’t leave it lying around.
  7. Rest and keep stress at a minimum
    A good night’s rest and low stress levels helps your immune system which helps to fight colds and flu. If you’re exhausted, try to get a good night’s rest and try not to watch television or consume caffeine before bed as it may interfere with your sleep. On average, we need seven hours of sleep every night.
  8. healthy-eating-hands-fruitGet supplements
    Using supplements can help your immune system.  Visit your doctor or pharmacist and stock up on multi vitamins, especially vitamin C which fights colds and flu.
  9. Clean your home
    You’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, so keeping your home environment clean should be a priority.  Keep surfaces clean and clear air vents. It’s important to keep your home’s air clean.
  10. Don’t smoke
    Smoking will affect your immune system’s ability to do its job. Quit smoking and get help from Smokenders or the CANSA eKick Butt Programme.

What’s next?

Create a workout plan and watch your diet. If you catch a cold or flu, learn  how to treat it and find a clinic  to access free healthcare services.

The content on this page was last updated on 13 July 2015