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Staying Healthy in Winter

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Winter is often a welcome change in Western Australia after our long, hot summers.

But while we live in a temperate climate, winter in most parts means significant drops in temperatures, greater rainfall and storms.

Several health conditions are specifically associated with the climatic conditions during our coldest season.

We’ve prepared some tips to help protect you and your family from those illnesses most associated with winter.

Preventing colds, flu and infections

Colds and flu are particularly common in winter. More than 200 viruses cause the common cold.

Flu (influenza) is caused by a different group of viruses and is a far more severe health condition that can lead to death.

Antibiotics are not a suitable treatment for colds and flu because antibiotics target bacteria, not viruses.

Take steps to protect yourself from colds and flu this season.

To do this you need to:

  • get immunised and protect yourself from flu

  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze

  • throw tissues in the bin after you use them

  • wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze

  • use alcohol based hand sanitisers

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread this way

  • try to avoid close contact with people who have a flu-like illness.

 

If you have a flu-like symptoms you should:

  • stay home from work or school

  • limit contact with other people to keep from infecting them.

No treatment will cure your cold, or make it go away more quickly, but if you get plenty of rest and stay hydrated you can expect to recover quicker.

Eat Healthy

Eating food high in nutritional value will feed your body the vitamins, rich carbohydrates and fats that give you the nourishment you need to recover more quickly.

While, it may be tempting to eat more food in winter, it is better to eat a well-balanced diet throughout the year.

Try to include foods in your diet that are:

  • high in antioxidants, protein and fibre

  • high in vitamins B, C, D and E

  • low in sugars and fats.

 

Drink Plenty of Water

It’s also important to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

In summer, the hot weather reminds us that we are thirsty.

It’s easy to neglect hydration when the weather becomes cooler because we think our body doesn’t need any more water.

Skin problems, like eczema, also become more common in the winter because of the change in temperature, blustery weather and indoor heating can dry out our skin

Keeping your body well hydrated will help to keep your skin healthy, flush out toxins and ward off winter bugs.

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