December is here and temperatures are dropping, many places are already seeing rain, sleet, and even snow. It’s the season that often brings on colds and other illnesses that can keep you from work, school, and just feeling 100%. So what can you do to stay happy and healthy as the skies start to turn grey?
- Drink Plenty of Water – It can be tempting to grab a nice hot coffee or tea when you’re feeling thirsty in winter to help warm you up, but it’s important to stay hydrated. You need just as much water in winter as any other season, and beverages that contain caffeine like coffee or tea can actually dehydrate you.
- Exercise Regularly – Don’t let the cold weather keep you on the couch. Even 15 minutes of exercise a day can help keep you healthy all winter long. A lot of gyms will offer deeply discounted memberships at this time of year, or just get out and take a short walk. No matter what you choose to do the important thing is to keep moving throughout the whole year.
- Get Plenty of Sleep – It’s more important than ever to recharge your batteries in the winter. You should try to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Your immune system can become weaker if you don’t get enough sleep every night.
- Wash Your Hands – This will help keep bacteria and viruses off your hands and therefore away from your mouth and nose. It’s also a good idea to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you for when you aren’t able to use soap and water. Prevention is the best way to keep from getting sick.
- Dress for the Weather – It’s important to keep warm and dry in cooler weather. Dressing in layers is always a good idea so you can adjust to the temps as they change during the day. And remember a lot of heat can escape from your head, so be sure to wear a hat. Also keep track of those fingers and toes in extreme weather and make sure they stay toasty and dry as well.
- Get Your Flu Shot – It’s definitely not anyone’s favorite thing to do, but a flu vaccine can help keep you healthy and going strong all winter long. Many pharmacies and clinics offer them for little or no cost. It’s a small investment for a winter of being flu free.