Winter and YOU
When Autumn in the UK is just around the corner the odd grim day offers a glimpse of what is to come. Unfortunately it will rarely be a pretty as a picture scene, as in the one shown. Cold, wet and windy weather will be the order of the day.
In the UK our seasons continue to shift but cold and tough weather hits us all some of the time.
With limited amounts of daylight, let alone sunlight, it is all too easy to get run down and feel tired and depressed.
These days though it does not have to be like that. As usual forward planning is the order of the day. It is up to you. If you look after yourself, throughout the winter months, you can emerge in Spring slim, fit and well rather than overweight, out of condition and feeling drained.
A handful of ways to stay fit during Winter
Our diet is as important as ever in Winter. In fact it is probably more important. With less exposure to sunlight we can all end up lacking in some vitamins.
Vitamin supplements are OK but it is better by far to take in your vitamins via your diet.
Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little more expensive in Winter. However if you buy seasonal fruits and veg they should be good value for money. Remember that some frozen vegetables still offer a good source of vitamins, are easy to store, have a good shelf life and can be a cheaper option.
Ensure that your winter diet does not just include stodgy, winter warming foods but that it also includes:-
Try to avoid filling up on sugary foods. Salads can still be tasty in Winter but may seem an unsuitable cold alternative. Try a warm salad instead. This way your body will receive the vital minerals and vitamins needed for good health and you will enjoy a tasty warming meal.
Coughs, Colds, Chills and the Flu
As if the usual winter bugs were not enough we now have the threat of Swine Flu lurking at our doors. Keep yourself as fit as possible in order to minimise the risk of developing flu and colds. Remember that good hygiene also plays a part. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and dispose of used tissues as soon as you have used them. Sticking them in your pocket or handbag will only compound problems.
Eat a good diet and consider taking a daily supplement of Echinacea. Many people swear by this as a coughs and colds preventative. Eat a vitamin C rich diet or, if this is not possible, take a supplement. Reduce or stop smoking as this habit reduces the vitamin C in your body.
Do not cough and sneeze all over the place. Make sure that you cover your mouth. These days it is recommended that you sneeze into the crook of your arm rather than your hands. This is because it so easy to spread infections via your hands.
Carry hand wipes for emergencies. These can be good also for wiping suspect keyboards and telephone handsets. Remember to use good hygiene practices in your place of work.
Winter vomiting bugs
I have seen The Winter Vomiting Bug or Noro Virus in all its glory, and trust me it is not a pretty sight. If you are fit and healthy it should not cause you lasting problems but it is not pleasant. Projectile vomiting and severe diarrhoea can leave the patient feeling drained and weak. Just what you do not want for the Holiday Season and beyond.
Again good basic hygiene is essential. If you think you have contracted this illnesses stay home. It is best to avoid work and socialising for at least 48 hours. Most people will not feel up to either anyway. However, if you live with someone who has this illness and you start to feel unwell, that is vomit for example, the same applies to you.
During winter we are often tucked up together sharing buses, cars, or Christmas shopping. At such times it is all too easy for these bugs to run riot.
Keeping warm is much easier these days but not cheap.
However for the elderly and vulnerable it may not be so easy. With increasingly expensive fuel bills people are often advised to turn down the thermostat. If you are elderly this is not good advice. Hypothermia is all too easy to develop in the elderly. If you are struggling with the financial cost of keeping warm check out what help is available. There are also government grants in the UK which could help insulate your home.
Winter clothes are essential for your well being. If last years winter clothes are looking sad and tired try shopping around for new. If necessary check out the secondhand shops for bargains. If you chose such shops, that are located in nicer areas of town, the nearly new goods will be just that. Almost new.
The Internet has some good bargains but make sure that you really need and want what you buy or else it is not a bargain.
As much as you need to take care in Summer, you also need to in Winter, but of course the problems are different. Cold and foggy weather can put your safety at risk in many ways. If you are driving visibility may be poor or the roads could be slippery. If you are out and about on foot the darker mornings and evenings could mean that you are more at risk from thieves and the like. Pedestrians are also prone to slips and trips on icy pavements. The A and E departments of UK hospitals are full of people with fractures in both summer and winter. I guess this because in Summer we often take more risks and in winter there can be more hazards out there.
None of this however should prevent you getting out and about. Just make sure that you are conscious of you safety and use your common sense. Sensible clothing and footwear is part of this common sense approach.
You will no doubt find that money can be a little tight during Winter. What with Christmas shopping, increased fuel bills, limited walking and some healthy foods a little more expensive it can be difficult to make ends meet. This means that it is more important than any other time of the year to budget well. Of course that is unless money is no object to you? I know. I wish!
Keep basic household accounts and cuts costs when possible. Make sure that you do not cut back on essentials though as this will be false saving. In the long run you will have to spend more to put things right.
SAD, seasonal affective disorder
Even if you do not actually suffer from SAD it is all too easy to feel down in Winter. If you are looking after yourself then this may not happen. If it does try to:-
Your skin and hair
Your skin and hair can really suffer during winter. Those cold blasts of air can make your skin dry and rough. Use products, whether you are a male or a female to help protect your skin and hair. This way you should not leave Winter, and enter Spring, looking like a cross between a wrinkled prune and Methuselah.