Staying healthy in winter

Stay warm & well

Keeping warm both indoors and out is essential for our wellbeing as the weather gets colder. Illnesses such as colds or flu are more likely when it's cold, and if you are exposed to the cold for long periods of time, or extreme cold for a short time, your body temperature drops and you could be putting yourself at risk of serious health problems.

These problems could include breathing difficulties, heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. Young children, pregnant women, people over 65 and those with existing health conditions are more vulnerable to the cold.

There are several things that you can do to stay healthy during the cold weather.

Free flu jabs

For most healthy people, flu is unpleasant but they usually recover within a week or two.  A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.

However, in certain groups of people, flu can be serious with a risk of severe illness and potentially serious complications.  A free flu vaccine offers the best protection. More information on who should have the free flu jab is available to view.  You can also speak to your GP surgery or pharmacist.

Avoid catching colds or flu

Colds and flu are easily spread to other people.  Germs from coughs and sneezes can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of catching and spreading flu:

  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as soon as possible
  • wash your hands often with soap and water. Use a hand sanitiser gel when you're out and about.

The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the flu vaccine before the flu season starts in December.

Further information on flu is available on the NHS website.

Help us Help you

Living a healthy lifestyle. You probably know that keeping yourself as fit and healthy as you can is important all year round, but your lifestyle can make even more of a difference when it comes to keeping well in winter.

Eat well

Eating regular meals will help keep your energy levels up during winter.

  • Have plenty of hot food and drinks.
  • Plan your meals and keep your diet as varied as possible.  Aim to include your daily five portions of fruit and veg
  • Stock up on tinned and frozen foods, so that you don't have to go out too much when it's cold or icy.