Temperatures this week across Britain are set to plunge leading to a colder than average December. The sub-zero temperatures are expected to sweep across the country creating many health risks and pressures for the elderly community. However, the winter needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family. Here are five ways to help you keep healthy and fit, even when your body is telling you to hibernate!
- Eliminate your sleep debt
It is recommended that we get seven to nine hours sleep every night, yet on average we sleep six and a half hours. A good night’s sleep is important for your health and wellbeing. In the winter, we naturally sleep more because of the longer nights. Use this time wisely and go to bed earlier to catch up on your missed sleep throughout the summer and to keep warm!
- Drink more milk
In the colder months, you are 80% more likely to get a cold, so making sure your immune system is in tip-top condition is important. Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and fromage frais are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12. These high calcium value foods also help to keep your bones strong! Try and go for semi-skimmed or skimmed milk rather than the full fat produce.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
The cooler and darker weather makes it tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food, but it is important to ensure you still have a healthy balanced diet including five portions of fruit and veg a day. If you find yourself craving a sugary treat, try a juicy clementine or seasonal satsuma instead, or even sweet dried fruits such as dates or raisins. Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips can be roasted, mashed or made into a soup for a comforting winter meal for the whole family.
- Stay Active
Don’t use the cold winter months as an excuse to stay inside and lounge around. Instead, get outside with the whole family to try out a new activity. Even taking a winter walk on the beach or through a country park keeps you active. Regular exercise helps control your weight, boost your immune system and is a good way to clear the mind.
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast
“You can’t start a car without fuel” and the same applies to you! A healthy breakfast gives you energy and helps you to feel fuller for longer, stopping the temptation to snack mid-morning. Winter is the perfect season for porridge! A warm bowl of porridge contains lots of vital vitamins and minerals and is a delicious way to start your day. Top your porridge with apricots, raisins, banana or blueberries to help you reach your 5 a day!
- Say goodbye to cold feet
Make sure you take extra care in keeping yourself warm this winter. Say goodbye to cold feet by wearing the Repton Healthcare Diabetic Sock, which is specially designed with Nano Technology. These socks raise your body temperature and enhance blood flow to your feet.
To find out more information on how to stay healthy this winter please visit the NHS Health Choices.