Keeping well this winter

Wintertime is rife with flu and illness. The sudden drop in temperature and lack of sunlight increases our risk of coming down with colds, flu and viruses to name a few. Whether you are fit and healthy or someone more susceptible to illness, we have some tips to help you stay well this winter.

Get your flu jab

The single best way to protect yourself against the flu is by getting your flu jab. With winter being prime time for flu, now is the time to get vaccinated if you want to avoid the unpleasant bout of fever, aching muscles, chills, congestion and unrelenting fatigue it can cause. Anyone can pay for a jab through their pharmacy, however, those who come under the high-risk category can get theirs for free through their GP. For those more vulnerable and in the high-risk category, it is even more important that you get your jab so that the illness doesn’t develop into anything more serious such as a chest infection, bronchitis or even pneumonia.

Find out more about who is eligible for a free jab here >


Stay warm

Keeping warm in winter is crucial. Without doing so, your body could struggle to fight off illnesses and infections, allowing minor illnesses to develop into something more serious. Make sure you wrap up warm when you venture outside, drink plenty of hot drinks and keep a hot water bottle on hand. Put the heating on in your home when you can, especially if you are someone more at risk of illness. If you struggle with the cost of heating your home over the winter months, here are some Welsh-based organisations who could help to provide funding.

Shelter Cymru – Help with heating costs

Citizens Advice – Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills – Warm home discount scheme


Good hand hygiene

Good hand hygiene is essential during cold and flu season. People everywhere are coughing and sneezing, with the hands being the biggest transmitters of bacteria. To keep well this season, make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, rinsing away any germs. We also recommend keeping handshakes to a minimum and having a bottle of antibacterial gel close by to ensure your hands stay germ-free.


Plan your medication

The Christmas period comes with unusual opening hours which could disrupt your routine when it comes to picking up your repeat prescription medication. Make sure you double check the opening hours of your pharmacy or doctors’ surgery over the Christmas break so that you can plan ahead and make sure you have an adequate supply. This level of planning is especially crucial if you have a serious or long-term condition that heavily relies on medication.


Keep moving

Now that the weather has turned colder and the days are getting darker, it’s so easy to go into hibernation mode. It’s really important to stay active throughout winter in order to stay healthy and maintain positive wellbeing. Whether you’re brave enough to face the outdoors, or you find ways to keep active in the warm, moving around is a great way to keep well and get rid of those seasonal winter blues. Here are some ideas on how to stay active this winter for all abilities:

NHS: Couch to 5k

NHS: 10 minute workouts

NHS: Sitting exercises

NHS: Strength exercises

NHS Directory: Find fitness classes near you