Here’s 10 Tips for Surviving the Winter Season
1. Colds- you can help prevent colds by washing your hands regularly. This destroys bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles.
2. Sore throats- common in winter, are almost always caused by viral infections, and changes in temperature. warm salty water gargles have anti-inflammatory properties and can have a soothing; not a cure.
3. Asthma- cold air is a major trigger of asthma symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthmatics should be especially careful in winter; wear warm clothing, take medications, and keep rescue inhalers close by and in a warm place.
4. Norovirus- also, the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug that is more common in winter and in places such as hotels and schools. The illness is unpleasant, but it’s usually over within a couple of days of vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
5. Painful joints- people with arthritis say their joints become more painful in winter, joint symptoms such as pain and stiffness are affected by the weather. Daily exercise is good, and swim- ming is ideal as it’s easy on the joints.
6. Cold sores- associated with being run down or under stress. There’s no cure for cold sores, but we can reduce the chances of getting one by looking after yourself through winter; every day do things that make you feel less stressed, such as having a hot bath, going for a walk in the park, or watching one of your favorite films.
7. Heart attacks are more common in winter. This may be because cold snaps increase blood pressure and put more strain on the heart. Your heart also must work harder to maintain body heat when it’s cold. Stay warm in your home and wrap up warm when you go out (wear a hat, scarf and gloves).
8. Cold hands or Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition that makes the fingers and toes change color, and becomes very painful in cold weather. Avoid nicotine and caffeine.
9. Dry skin- worse during the winter, when environmental humidity is low. Moisturizing is essential; apply moisturizer after a bath or shower while your skin is still moist, and again at bed- time. Take warm rather than hot showers to prevent dry skin.
10. Flu- a major killer of vulnerable people (age 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions including diabetes and kidney disease), are particularly at risk. The flu vaccine gives good protection against flu and lasts for one year.