Suncoast, how do you stay healthy during the winter and not get sick?
As the weather cools and we gather for the holidays, staying healthy is of utmost importance to many of us. With a pandemic still threatening, flu season in full gear, and other concerns out there in our communities, staying healthy during these winter months is critical. Of course, no matter how much we all try, we can still get sick, but we have a few suggestions for staying active and healthy this winter here on the Suncoast.
Use the Longer Hours to Sleep
A good amount of sleep helps keep the body’s immune system healthy, eliminates stress hormone cortisol, and burns calories. Sleep is a non-negotiable factor for maintaining good health. As the days are longer during the winter getting in some extra sleep can help ensure your body is rested to help keep you healthy and ready for all the amazing winter activities you wish to undertake.
Stay Active Equals Healthy Habits
Any physical activity is good for the body. Walking is just as effective as running for weight loss. Studies show it is even better for the heart than running long distances, which strains the heart muscles. Other forms of useful exercise include biking, swimming, dancing, and lifting weights. Make time for daily exercise or movement, but be sure not to overdo it. Physical activity needs to be something that is enjoyed enough to do it often without burning out.
Keep Your Devices Clean
Colds and flu are usually airborne (from sufferers who don’t cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough!). That being said, germs can still be transferred from fingers to mobile phones. Clean the screen of your devices with microfiber, and then wipe down your phone case with a disinfectant wipe.
Fist Bumps for Your Health
It’s becoming more common—and less socially awkward—to skip hand-to-hand contact (and the subsequent germ exchange) during cold and flu season. This has actually become even more common since COVID-19, and should become a rule of thumb in group settings.
“Fist bumps and elbow bumps are replacing the handshake in many settings,” says William Schaffner, M.D., professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “Among my infectious-disease colleagues I see a version of the South Asian ‘Namaste,’ where we put our hands together at our chests, make eye contact, and give a little bow.”
Vitamin C Bolstering Your System
Make sure that you get lots of vitamin C all winter long. Vitamin C can help your immune system stay healthy and strong, and vitamin C can support muscle recovery and nerve and soft tissues health. You will get many benefits from fresh fruits and veggies for your winter health, and you should not skip this part of your overall health plan.
If you do not want to eat fruits and veggies, you can easily take supplements to get your vitamin C each day. Caring for your nutritional and dietary health can help keep your immune system strong and your body healthy during cold and flu season. Diet and vitamins are crucial to your overall well-being.
Whether making decisions about the size of events you attend or picking great classes to stay fit during this winter, customizing an individual plan is vital. We can all help others in our friend and family groups by discussing our healthy options this winter and further providing a support network to help keep them on task. Whether you stay healthy this winter, make it attainable, fun, and easily incorporated into your current schedule. Doing these simple things ensures you stick to it and see the spring happy and ready to hit the beaches, travel, and up for any new adventures that come your direction.
Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos