Even though we’re already a couple of months in, Old Man Winter isn’t ready to release his grip quite yet!
So, how can we keep our immune systems primed and our physical & mental well-being optimized while we ride out this chilly weather?
We’ve got the top 7 ways to stay on top of your health game this Winter.
What does the latest research say about how health is impacted during the colder months?
Let’s start with debunking the myth that it’s the cold weather itself that creates the common viruses we’re more often afflicted with during the winter.
Findings from a recent Yale-led study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is that many viruses live longer and can replicate faster in colder temperatures .
But that means that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not so much that the colder temperatures create the infection, but that the colder temperatures allow it to survive and spread.
As a result, a highly contagious virus (such as influenza) can stay active and stick around – for up to 24 hours on a hard surface!
Add that fact to the social driving element of viruses… where people gather indoors in enclosed spaces, illness naturally lingers and spreads. That’s a lot of people in close contact, who are likely touching a lot of common surfaces!
Common winter illnesses include:
- Dry eyes
- Eczema & other skin conditions, like excessively dry skin & skin cracks
- Colds (rhinovirus) & upper respiratory problems
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection
- Flu (influenza virus)
- Ear infections (especially in children)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and other mental health issues 
That list gives us several more reasons to wash hands really often, cover sneezes and coughs, then wash hands again — or don’t situate yourself in densely populated enclosed spaces when you or someone you know is sick!
Winter Health Tips: Top 7 ways to stay on your game
It’s true that surviving the colder, darker months can be a bit of a balancing act for your health, but we’re sure that these additional 7 Winter health tips will have you embracing the chilly weather – or at least meeting it with less sick days!
Also, remember that “good health” is a state of both physical AND mental well-being. We do have a tendency to feel extra tired, sluggish, low mood, and just plain “down in the dumps” in the Winter, so take the necessary steps to help keep your mood and energy up.
- Support your immune system with natural cold & flu fighters like oil of oregano, Vitamin C and zinc. CanPrev’s Immuno-Multi and Cold-Pro Immune Formula may be just the blend of immunity-boosting nutrients you’re looking for!
- Don’t underestimate the power of your daily diet. Boost your nutrition intake by including more plants; brightly coloured veggies, fibrous veggies, and aromatic spices like turmeric, in particular.
- Get adequate amounts of healthy fats and regular doses of Omega-3 fatty acids
- Stay hydrated – Winter is surprisingly drying to the body – especially evident in our skin and mucous membranes.
- Self-care can be especially important during the Winter – so be kind and gentle to yourself and continue to set aside a bit of daily “me time”. Part of regular self-care is SLEEP – be sure to maintain regular sleeping routines whenever possible.
- Stay active and don’t ditch your regular exercise regime. Consider bundling up and taking a dip into what nature has to offer. Did you know, nature has a natural mood-boosting effect?!
- Don’t forget your daily dose of D! Natural sunshine should be your main source of Vitamin D, but then consider topping up with a high quality “liquid sunshine” supplement during the colder, darker months.
Something else you might be concerned about during the colder months… is how to stay healthy when you’re about to take off on your Winter vacation!
READ MORE about Preparing Your Immune System for Air Travel.
STUDIES, REFERENCES & LINKS Yale News: Cold Virus Replicates Better at Cooler Temperatures  UC (University of Cincinnati) Health: How Winter Affects Your Mental Health  Health Link BC: Your Health This Winter (resource link list)