Seasonal Health Tips
The long hot summer days feel like a lifetime ago and instead autumn brings fallen leaves, dark mornings, golden sunsets and a chill to the air. With the cold dark weather creeping in it’s essential that we are mindful about our health, both physically and mentally. We’ve put together a few tips to help you keep healthy this season.
Boost your immune system
With pesky colds lingering around every corner, now is the perfect time to naturally boost your immune system to help fight off any unwanted bugs and illnesses.
Your diet plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy as it depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals. Foods such as spinach and kale are rich in vitamin C and can help improve the immune system's defence against illnesses. Meanwhile, white foods such as parsnips, radishes, onions and cauliflowers are high in allicin which has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties supporting the lungs and intestine, helping boost your immunity.
It may sound obvious but washing your hands regularly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of germs and pick up illnesses, bacteria can be passed from person to person and from contaminated objects. Ensure that you wash your hands after using the toilet, coughing, sneezing and handling food. Carrying a hand sanitizer is perfect for when you’re out and about too.
Exercise and food
Keeping physically in shape can be challenging throughout autumn and winter as the cold weather turns us to reach for comfort foods.
Motivation to exercise
Keeping in sync with your summer routine can be hard through the colder months as the nights get longer. Motivation can often be what you lack when it comes to working up a sweat, so change up your routine and find something that suits you better. Early morning exercise can be great and can help you keep on top of your health throughout the day, it also allows you to spend time in the evening unwinding and relaxing.
Our food habits change season to season. Summer sees the increase of salads and fruit, meanwhile with the lead up to winter, warm, hearty and home-cooked meals make more of an appearance. It’s easy to reach for comfort foods and often people find it hard to maintain their weight or lose weight. During autumn and winter, it’s important to watch what you’re eating and drinking as the more calories you consume the more you should really be burning through exercise. Ensure that you’re eating your five a day and maintaining a balanced diet.
Allergies in the home
Just a slight change in season can bring out our allergies, from pollen falling to dust forming, the smallest thing can bring on a sniffle.
Tucked up inside with the heating on full and the windows shut is the prime environment for mould to form. The symptoms of a mould allergy include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore eyes, a sore throat and a sore nose. Check and eliminate damp in your home, especially targeting areas such as the bathroom, windows and door frames. Keep your bathroom ventilated and clean as mould thrives in moist conditions. Hanging wet clothes over radiators can increase humidity levels which again can increase the mould levels in your home, so avoid doing this.
Dust and dust mites can also be a common problem during the colder months as dust mites love warm environments. The majority of homes have dust mites present and common symptoms of a dust mite allergy include a runny or blocked nose, sinusitis and wheezing. Wash your bedding at 60 degrees regularly to kill dust mites. Wash and clean any soft furnishings like rugs, cushions and curtains regularly and use an anti-allergen solution. Use allergy sprays all around your home to stop dust mites spreading and dust your home often.
Private health insurance is there for you if you fall ill and during the colder months, it’s important that you do everything to look after your health. At General & Medical, we know the importance of having information at your fingertips which is why when you have a health insurance policy out with us, we’ll give you access to our Health and Wellbeing Services offering a wide range of support including weekly health programs, telephone counselling and life advice.
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