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Expert Tips for Staying Healthy this Winter

pandemic

The flu season is difficult enough on its own, but now we must account for COVID-19, which continues to be a rapidly evolving situation. Here in Florida, thousands of new cases are reported each day. While this isn’t the news we hoped to hear, it’s important to know that there are effective ways to keep yourself healthy this winter.

Why are People More Likely to Get Sick in the Winter?

Germs don’t disappear in the summer, but people are more likely to get sick in the winter. There are a few reasons for this:

  • People spend more time indoors. As the temperatures cool off, people spend more time indoors in close quarters. This makes it easier for germs to spread.
  • Dry winter air. The air is drier in the winter, which weakens natural mucus barriers in the mouth, nose and lungs. This allows viruses to enter the body more easily.
  • Lower Vitamin D levels. If you spend less time outdoors, you get less Vitamin D, which is essential to immune health.
  • Virus activity peaks. Some viruses thrive in dry, cold climates, allowing them to stick around and infect more people.

How Can I Stay Healthy this Winter from COVID-19 and Other Viruses?

By making smart decisions, you can keep yourself healthier and reduce your risk for COVID-19 and other viruses. Fortunately, most of the ways to stay healthy are easy and include things like eating right and getting enough restorative sleep. The harder decisions will involve reducing your social bubble.

Here are some of the best ways to support cold-weather wellness:

  • Get your flu shot. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months old and up. They are updated every year to protect you from the latest flu strains.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water to flush toxins out of your system and keep your mucus membranes moist.
  • Get enough rest. Your body needs at least 7-9 hours of restorative sleep every night in order to heal and repair tissues and organs. Make sleep a priority.
  • Eat a nutritious diet. There’s lots of temptation over the holidays, but moderation is key. Make sure you’re satisfying hunger with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Stay active. Florida winters are beautiful, so stay active by walking, biking, swimming and stretching outdoors. This is good for your mental and physical health.
  • Reduce your social bubble. Limit your social bubble. We know this is hard during the holidays, but it’s essential to protecting your health. Consider celebrating the holidays virtually instead.

We still have a long winter to go through, but by following these tips, you can lower your risk for contracting COVID-19 and other viruses. For questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, contact our triage center at 833-283-6286.

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