Winter is a great time to enjoy sitting by the fire, watching your favorite movies, and sampling delicious holiday treats. However, with the joy and beauty of winter comes to the looming risk of germs and illness. When snow, ice, and freezing temperatures force us to spend more time indoors, the smaller space of our homes and being in close proximity to others makes it easier for us to catch illnesses. Luckily, there are many ways to fight off illnesses and stay healthy and happy during the winter months.
Keep a Clean Living Space
Disinfect your surroundings using nontoxic disinfectant sprays, vinegar, or even just plain old-fashioned soap and water. Wash your hands frequently to clean off viruses that often live on your hands and spread illness. Giving your home a thorough cleaning will help to kill lingering germs and keep sickness at bay.
A balanced and healthy diet helps strengthen the immune system and fight off viruses and infections. One bonus of a balanced diet is that it can help promote thermoregulation. Regulating body temperature and staying warm can be an undeniable challenge for aging adults. Eating foods that are both nourishing and warm can help to keep the blood flowing. Add foods that are high in iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids – like broccoli, potatoes, and fish.
Exercise and Stay Active
Another way to strengthen your immune system is to boost physical activity. Start a daily indoor stretching regimen. Take advantage of good weather days and get out for a walk with friends. Use an indoor treadmill or bicycle, and supplement with weights and other exercise equipment. Here at the Terrace, you can visit our Fitness Center. Join one of our wellness and exercise classes for motivation and inspiration to live a healthy independent lifestyle.
Get Some Natural Light
Seniors who are already suffering from some symptoms of depression may be at greater risk for developing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a form of depression that occurs most often in winter. Reduced exposure to natural light is one of the main causes of SAD, therefore, one of the best ways to combat SAD is to spend some time in natural light on a daily basis. If it isn’t possible to do this, phototherapy from a lightbox or “happy light” is another option.
Mental health is important too! It’s tough to get through the gray winter months. Help fight off seasonal depression by spending time with friends and loved ones. If weather conditions prevent travel, make phone calls to stay in touch. Reach out and ask for help if feelings of loneliness start to take a toll on you. Our event coordinator here at the Terrace schedules a variety of music and merriment that will help keep your mind full of sunshine.
Chace away the winter blues by implementing daily healthy choices. Living in a senior community supports an active, fun, and safe environment. Contact Linette at the Terrace at 573-875-2538 when you are ready for a tour to elevate your lifestyle.