5 winter health tips for seniors

Affectionate senior couple in autumn woods
Affectionate senior couple in autumn woods

Winter time is a time to nurture ourselves a bit more.  Whilst our bodies always need to be taken care of, during winter we need to make sure that the dark days, cold and stormy weather and winter sniffles don’t take a toll on our well-being.

  1.  Keep warm

Make sure you rug up when you’re going outside on a cold and windy day.  An extra layer of clothes, a scarf, and a jacket will help keep the cold at bay. Remember your hands and feet too!  Socks, gloves, even a beanie for your head will keep you warmer. Keeping warm shouldn’t keep you indoors all day.  It’s important that you get outdoors for some natural light for at least 10 minutes a day.  So many of us work long hours and with these short days, we don’t manage to get enough daylight.  Make an effort to go for a short walk, even just 10 minutes, when the sun is out.

  1.  Get more rest!

What a great thing to tell a busy person! We need to make sure that we have enough sleep so that we’re ready to face whatever happens in our day. We need to get around seven to eight hours of sleep each night. So snuggle up in bed, perhaps go to bed a little earlier than usual so that you can get plenty of good quality sleep.  There’s nothing wrong with a short daytime nap in front of the fire on a cold day either!

  1.  Good nutrition

Winter is a wonderful time for those great soups!  Remember Grandma’s Chicken Soup?  Well, it’s time to find her recipe and make a big pot of nourishing soup. Vegetable soups are a great way of getting those vitamins and minerals, too.  If you make a big pot, there are leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches. Enjoy the vegetables and fruits that are in season.  Remember to stay hydrated, too. Make sure you keep up your water intake, and your skin will thank you too.

  1.  Exercise your mind

Whilst we all know about the benefits of physical exercise and keeping our bodies moving, winter is a great time while we’re indoors more, to learn a new skill, take up a hobby, broaden our horizons. Watch a classic movie, read, play board games with friends, learn new computer skills, have some ‘me-time’, challenge yourself with new recipes, plan a holiday,  learn to knit…. the possibilities are endless.

  1.  Go somewhere warm and sunny!

Do you find that your mood is lower in winter?  This is quite common, and a holiday in the sun might be just the solution you’re looking for! Find a good deal on accommodation and take yourself somewhere warm and sunny.  Soak up the sunshine, get some exercise, and reduce your stress. You’ll be able to face whatever comes your way. If you can’t manage to get away, make a corner of your garden into a ‘retreat’. Choose a sunny spot sheltered from the wind, a comfy chair, a hot cup of tea and a good book – you’ll feel like you have been away!
Sue Buckle is a Registered Nurse and owns and operates Just Better Care Hills District

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