Stay well this winter

Winter conditions can often cause bad health, especially people with long-term conditions and those aged over 65. Cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can make existing health problems worse and leave many of us more vulnerable to winter infections. But don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

Winter health advice

Cold weather doesn’t have to mean an illness is on the way. Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.

  • Keep warm
    This may prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
  • Eat Well
    Food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day
  • Get a Flu jab
    Flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

If you are given medication you should always complete the full course, even if you start to feel better. This is particularly important if you’re taking antibiotics.

Dealing with common winter illnesses

  • Colds
    To ease the symptoms of a cold, drink plenty of fluids and try to rest. Prevent colds from spreading by washing your hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces regularly and always sneeze and cough into tissues, throwing them away after use.
  • Sore throats
    A sore throat is almost always caused by a viral infection, like a cold. Try not to eat or drink anything that’s too hot, as this could further irritate your throat; cool or warm drinks and cool, soft foods should go down easier.
  • Asthma
    A range of weather-related triggers can set off asthma symptoms, including cold air. Covering your nose and mouth with a warm scarf when you’re out can help.
  • Norovirus
    This is also known as the winter vomiting bug, although it can cause diarrhoea too. The main thing to do to is drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.
  • Flu
    If you’re 65 or over, have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, flu can be life-threatening, so it’s important to seek help early. However, if you’re generally fit and healthy, the best treatment is to rest, stay warm and drink plenty of water.