Tips for Keeping Winter Bugs Away

How are you feeling this winter? This is our third winter with Covid lurking over us like a dark cloud. We have learned a lot about Covid in the last few years. The advice given to us early on still stands us in good stead and it is advice that has been passed on throughout the generations.

-Wash your hands with soap regularly

-Stay home if you are sick

-Eat healthily

-Sleep is more important than we realise

-Vitamins; A, B, C, D, magnesium and zinc; all play a big part in supplementing your immune system

Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is good practice to get in the habit of doing for good hygiene practice.

Rest up, if you are sick, either with a cold, a virus, or with Covid stay home, rest and recuperate. Call your GP if you have any concerns. Your pharmacist may also be able to offer some advice.

For more information about Covid, visit https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/c/covid-19-key-information/ or https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public.

Eat healthily. Keep hydrated with good quality water (filtered if possible), up your vegetables and fruit intake – perhaps in a smoothie – easy to drink when you are feeling low and maybe have a sore throat. You can include many healthy goodies into your smoothie; honey, berries, bananas, spinach, kiwifruit plus much more. Another tried and true go-to when you’re sick is chicken soup, with lots of immune-busting vegetables and a tasty way to hydrate. Don’t forget magical garlic, a super food and great if you can include this into your meals. Have you tried roasted garlic? Ah-mazing! (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/recipe-roasted-garlic-bulbs/JC7KCAIYC6QW2ME3G6SJEPJR3U/)

Sleep!  It’s so easy to under-estimate how much sleep you need. I was once told that the best hours for quality sleep happen in the few hours before midnight. Good sleeping habits are also linked to weight loss and also help you to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients the body needs, here are a few important ones; A – read more here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a-benefits, B – read more here: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthy-living/v/vitamin-b12/, C – a must-have in your arsenal for good health, D – seek out the sun for natural vitamin D but check out this advice first; https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-from-sun#overview, for more detailed information about vitamins, have a look here https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthy-living/r/role-of-vitamins/.

Keep your house as warm and dry and ventilated as possible. Condensation is a common problem in New Zealand homes due to the way they have been built, especially older homes. If you are at home during the day, try and leave some windows open, even just a little bit, to let fresh air in and stale air out. This will also help with condensation. Look into heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture, drainage and draught stopping (draught stoppers on the bottom of your doors work well). Click here https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/healthy-living/w/winter-how-to-keep-your-home-warm-in-winter/ for more information. Drawing your curtains just before the sun drops in the afternoon will help to lock in any heat that’s accumulated during the day.

Mould is a silent danger; dampness encourages mould and can endanger your whānau’s health. Check out these pages for advice on dealing with mould: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/renters-guide-dealing-with-mould, https://www.building.govt.nz/resolving-problems/resolution-options/weathertight-services/signs-of-a-leaky-home/mould/

Last but not least, something that’s important to me and I’m sure to you as well, is helping others in our community; winter is hard on our elders, our kaumātua. They can be struggling with their health, both physical and mental health, eg. loneliness etc. They and others may need extra support; whether that’s a chat and a smile or maybe a meal or a hand with chores around the house. Helping each other is what binds our community.

Stay well friends.

Please Note: This is not intended as medical advice, please contact your GP if you have any health or medical concerns or call Healthline for general health advice and information call 0800 611 116 anytime or for COVID-19 health advice call 0800 358 5453 anytime.