Tips for a good winter

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With the arrival of low temperatures and rain, winter is the time of year when we are more prone to suffer from respiratory diseases, without leaving aside mood changes or weight gain.

Internal Medicine specialist of Hospital Ochoa, an expert in Infectious Diseases, Dr. María Sánchez, tells us how to better cope with the cold weather for a good start of this winter season.

The first thing that Sánchez talks about is the importance of hygiene. Washing your hands, in addition to protecting oneself from sneezing by covering our mouth preferably with the elbow, instead of using our hands and avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth. Remember that the risk of transmission of infectious diseases increases when in contact with nasal secretions or the respiratory tract.  Avoid sudden changes in temperature, especially in homes, and maintain heating around 22 degrees. It is also advisable to periodically ventilate rooms .

Beware of household accidents, with heaters. Electric ones are preferable to charcoal, since there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to combustion inside the home.

Outside, it is best to keep warm, but do not overdo it.  The ideal is to wrap yourself in layers to prevent the loss of body heat.  Thermal and breathable clothing are the most appropriate.  It is important to remember that babies and children should wear an extra layer of clothing with respect to adults.

Optimize skin care. It is important to perform a controlled sun exposure, not forgetting that there is risk of sunburn also in winter.  This, together with the effects of the cold weather and temperature changes, make it necessary to take better care of your skin. It’s essential to protect, nourish and hydrate it correctly.

Caring for food in winter is essential, as the body needs more calories to cope with the cold weather, which raises the likelihood of gaining weight during the season.

To avoid this situation, it is advisable to have meals at around the same time. Preserve the temperature of the meals by having warm food and add a variety of nuts to the diet.  We must not forget that to combat the bad effects of winter it is necessary to increase the intake of vitamins A, C and D through appropriate foods, such as citrus fruits, dairy products and leafy vegetables.  The important thing is to maintain a varied diet.

Last but not least, there is the need for an adequate social life.  We might feel down, as there are fewer hours of light and sun in winter. Usually, the tendency is to stay more at home. However, one should make an extra effort to go out.  For this reason, practising sports or any physical activity motivating us is very useful, which, in turn, would help us maintain an adequate weight.

Finally, Dr. María Sánchez, reminds us of the recommendation to get the annual flu vaccine, especially indicated for risk groups, including pregnant women, adults over 65 years, patients with certain diseases – such as diabetes mellitus, insufficiency renal, morbid obesity, splenic (without spleen), immunosuppression states including patients with HIV / AIDS, cancer, asthma, chronic lung diseases or chronic heart disease – as well as health professionals, nursing home workers and state security forces.

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