by Harriet Edmund 18th April 2016

7 ways to stay well this winter

Flu season is fast approaching, but it's not all doom and gloom

The Mornington Medical Group doctors recommend taking a holistic approach to your health during winter with these seven tips.

7 ways to stay well this winter

Wash your hands regularly

Did you know viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to two days and on unwashed hands for 30-minutes? What’s more with more time spent indoors during winter, germs can spread fast. Morning Medical Group doctors recommend washing your hands regularly with warm soapy water or using an antibacterial hand sanitiser – especially before eating. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow will also help stem the spread of viruses.

Get the flu vaccination

This year’s flu vaccination contains four seasonal influenza strains and is currently available at Mornington Medical Group.

The vaccination is free for:

  • People aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Indigenous Australians aged 15 and over
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Anyone who is six months of age and over with a condition that predisposes them to severe influenza and/or who requires regular treatment for conditions such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease, diabetes, impaired immunity and chronic neuromuscular diseases.
  • For more information visit Victorian Government department of health

Embrace exercise

If you’re motivation wanes during winter when it comes to working out, you’re not alone. But the physical benefits of staying in shape, plus the feel-good factor can make the effort worth it. Try a gym or indoor pool membership if the weather is bleak or train with a friend or group to help keep you accountable. Aim to complete the Heart Foundation’s recommended 30-minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days, and enjoy the added benefits of reducing your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

Eat right

Packing your diet with dark, leafy greens, plus red and yellow vegetables high in antioxidants is great way to boost your immune system. Look for foods loaded with iron, zinc and vitamin C to help keep viruses at bay, says Dietitians Association of Australia.

Sleep well

Staying well rested, especially during winter when colds and flus are spreading will help keep you healthy. Adults’ aged between 26 and 64 should aim for between seven and nine hours sleep a night, according to the Australian Sleep Health Foundation.

Drink up

Sure, water loss may increase in hot weather or with prolonged exercise, but adults can still lose between 2.5 and 3 litres of water a day in the cooler months. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration, and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones. That’s why it is important to consume at least eight glasses of water a day. Try boiled water with a slice of lemon for a warmer option.

Get out and about

When the days are shorter and the weather bad it can be tempting to bunker down at home. But Morning Medical Group doctors say getting out and catching up with friends and family is a great way to keep emotionally and spiritually well over winter.

by Harriet Edmund

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