Column: Here are our five top tips to help you stay well this winter
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Eat well, keep moving and stay warm
Eating well and moving more will have a huge impact on your overall health. More fruit and vegetables and less over-processed foods and take-aways will provide your body with the fuel it needs to cope with the colder weather and winter bugs.
And if it’s cold outside, having a hot meal at least once a day and drinking hot drinks will help you stay warm.
When the weather permits, wrap up warm and get outside. Exercising outside has many benefits to your health including; maintaining a healthy weight, boosting your mood and meeting people.
If you don’t like exercising outside in colder weather, sign up for a class or follow a free workout on YouTube.
Keep your home heated to at least 18 degrees Celsius, particularly if you are over-65, are not very mobile or have an existing health condition.
If you are worried about your heating bills, make sure you heat the rooms you use the most – usually your bedroom and lounge or kitchen.
At night use an electric blanket or hot water bottle to warm the bed (but not at the same time).
Now is the time to stock up on over-the-counter medicines to help treat and relieve winter illnesses such as colds, coughs, flu and sickness bugs. Your local community pharmacy will have a range of products and can advise which are the most suitable for you and your family.
Items you may want to add to your first aid box include: Cold and flu remedies; Paracetamol, ibuprofen (and infant/children versions), aspirin; Digital thermometer; Oral rehydration salts (to help restore fluid and vitamins and minerals balance if suffering from diarrhoea or sickness); Anti-diarrhoea medicine
If you are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination or a flu vaccination, get these booked.
Vaccinations are the best protection against Covid-19 and flu and stop you spreading it to other people who may be at risk of serious health problems if they catch it.
If you need medical help, don’t delay
If you are over 65 or have a long-term health condition and become unwell, get help sooner rather than later. Call your pharmacy, GP or, if you are unsure who to contact, visit NHS 111 online or call 111 and they will guide you to the most appropriate service.
Check up on your friends, family and neighbours
Check up on vulnerable neighbours, friends and family, particularly when the weather is too bad for them to venture out.
Winter can be very lonely if the weather keeps you at home, so drop in, give them a call or drop them a message. Offer to pick up food and check they are keeping warm and safe.
We hope you keep safe and well over winter but if you are feeling unwell, please pop into your local community pharmacy for healthcare advice and information, visit NHS 111 or call 111.