Each year, 36,000 people in the United States die from the flu and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s not just the flu that puts people in danger each winter, though.
Shoveling snow can be a trigger for heart attacks and body aches and pains, cold weather can cause dry, cracked skin and the holidays can trigger stress issues in adults.
In order to stay healthy this winter season, you have to take preventative measures in order to avoid getting sick.
5 Tips to stay healthy during the winter
Among the ways to lessen the chances of becoming sick or injuring yourself this winter:
Get a flu shot – The CDC recommends that all people over 6 months of age get vaccinated against the flu. The elderly, babies, and adults and children with lung disorders or other medical issues should be immunized as soon as possible and not put it off, since these groups have a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu.
Keep warm -Cold weather can cause you to be sick, so make sure to always dress for the weather. Layer your clothing, wear hats, scarves and mittens and try to limit your time outside. This is especially true for the elderly and for young kids, as they are more prone to sicknesses caused from cold weather. If you have to hire someone to shovel your snow, do it.
Moisturize your skin – Cold, dry weather makes your skin and lips chapped and cracked. While this usually isn’t life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable and cause your skin to be itchy. The article “Combat winter with coconut oil for skin” recommends using coconut oil to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy all winter long.
Keep your stress levels low – Between holiday shopping, get-togethers with family and friends and spending more money than normal, stress levels are at an all-time high for most people. Take a conscious effort to minimize your stress this holiday season. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy, spend within your budget and take some time to exercise each day.
Avoid sick people – Kids tend to be a carrier of germs. As a mom of two little ones, I try to keep the kids indoors this time of year. If myself or one of my kid’s aren’t feeling well, we stay away from public places, such as the library and book store, to avoid spreading germs to other people. If you’re not feeling your best, stay home from work. Your boss will probably appreciate you not infecting the entire office.
If you get sick, do your best to recover quickly and not get everyone around you sick.
Stay home from work and social obligations, rest as much as possible, eat healthy foods (such as chicken noodle soups and beef stews), wash your hands regularly and call your doctor if symptoms progress.
By staying healthy, you can focus on enjoying the holiday and winter season!
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, health and personal finance.