Winter has arrived and we’re all looking for ways to keep healthy and happy during the coldest and darkest months of the year.
It can be easy to go into hibernation and overindulge during the short days and long nights of winter, but making some small changes to your daily routine can bring some much-needed positivity and energy to you and your loved ones.
To help you stay healthy this winter, we’ve put together a Winter Essentials Kit featuring some of the must-have products for this time of the year. It’s never been easier to be prepared for the season of runny noses, cracked lips and sore throats!
What can you do to keep healthy and happy this winter?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hand hygiene has never been more important. Frequent hand washing has been proven as an effective way to stop the spread of viruses.
Washing your hands during the winter can protect you and others from catching a nasty cold or the flu, killing germs before they harm your immune system.
It’s recommended that you wash your hands for 20 seconds, you can view NHS guidance on hand hygiene here.
Vitamin supplement boosters
During the short days of winter, it may be hard to get your recommended dose of essential vitamins as you are exposed to less natural light.
Vitamin D is usually absorbed through regular sun exposure and during winter it’s recommended that you take a supplement to balance the reduced light during the day alongside getting out in the winter sun as much as possible.
A Vitamin C supplement can also help to combat symptoms of cold and flu.
Eat more fruit and veg
Winter is the season of comfort foods that taste amazing but are often unhealthy. We all love these treats, but we should try to have them in moderation.
Try to make sure you are still getting your recommended five portions of fruit and veg every day to maintain a healthy diet.
Continuing to eat healthy fruit and vegetables that contain essential vitamins can boost your immune system and help fend off colds and flu.
For your next comfort food night, try a vitamin-rich winter soup with seasonal veggies such as turnips, potatoes and carrots...your tummy will thank you!
The best start to your day
It’s an age-old saying, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially in winter.
In colder temperatures your body needs more energy to get through the day, eating a breakfast high in fibre can give you that extra boost in the morning.
Fibre-heavy breakfasts such as porridge or beans on toast fill you up and give you the perfect amount of energy to tackle whatever the day throws at you.
If you’re feeling extra healthy, try to add in some vitamin-rich fruits such as bananas and oranges to help maintain a healthy immune system.
Try not to hibernate.
Picture the scene, it’s freezing outside, there’s a chill in your bones and all you can think about is jumping into your warm, cosy bed for a winter nap.
As dreamy as that sounds, it is really important that you continue to maintain a regular, healthy sleeping pattern throughout winter.
Try to reduce those naps and don’t nod off past 3pm. Avoiding caffeine and vigorous exercise just before bedtime can also help maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
Get out there!
As cold as it may get during winter, it’s really important for your mental and physical wellbeing that you get outdoors and soak up as much natural daylight as you can.
Getting outdoors and taking part in gentle exercises such as walking can help towards keeping your mind and body healthy. Physical activity outdoors can help boost your endorphins, these feel-good chemicals can help you de-stress and make the darker nights a little bit more bearable.
Next time you and the family decide to stay indoors and binge-watch your favourite TV shows, try and shake things up by getting outdoors and moving your body!
Stay well hydrated
Staying well hydrated in the winter is just as important as in the hot summer days.
Increasing the amount of water you drink each day can impact how much hydration your body receives. It’s recommended that you try and drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
Your body needs water to function properly and if you become dehydrated, your immune system may weaken and your chances of catching a nasty cold could increase.
Your skin is the same, it can start to become dry and itchy, even your lips can become painfully cracked if not moisturised properly.