Tips to stay healthy in winter

At this time of year, we are all more susceptible to common illnesses such as coughs and colds and as it gets chillier outside, we sometimes much prefer staying indoors, keeping warm and tucking into food that might not be so good for us.

It’s important for us, and the elderly and vulnerable in particular, to stay as healthy as possible, so we’ve put together our top tips – feel free to follow these or pass them to an elderly loved-one, friend or neighbour who might need them too.

Get your flu jab

It is flu jab season, so if you’re eligible you can get a free flu jab from your doctor’s surgery. You can read more about this here. It is vital the elderly and vulnerable get their jab. If you’re not eligible for a free flu jab, you can now pay to have one at local chemists, including some at major supermarkets, which is a great idea if you don’t fancy falling foul of the dreaded flu.

Keep hands clean

To prevent catching common colds and coughs, make sure your hands are always clean, so you don’t pick up or spread any germs. It’s a good idea to keep antibacterial hand wash as an extra precaution.

Eat and drink well

In the colder months it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food and sugary treats. You need to make sure you maintain a healthy diet, full of fruit and vegetables – great winter vegetables include parsnips, swede and turnips, which can be roasted, mashed or made into warming soups. Try snacking on clementines instead of chocolate too.

You should also make sure you have a hearty breakfast – porridge is perfect for this as oats contain lots of vitamins and minerals. You can also add banana or berries to help you hit your five a day.

Milk and dairy products are great for the immune system as they’re full of protein, vitamins A and B12 and calcium, which helps keep bones strong.

You can read all our tips for making sure you or an elderly loved-one maintain a healthy diet here.

Keep active

It might be tempting to stay curled up in a chair or on the sofa, but for the elderly, this can lead to stiff joints, so it’s always a good idea to be as active as possible, even if it’s just walking around the house. A bracing winter walk is great, as it’s not only a form of exercise but a great way to get some fresh air too. As the mornings and evenings are dark and dreary, making the most of the little daylight we do get at this time of year is extremely important.