One of the most effective ways to keep yourself well during winter is to stay warm. Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, pneumonia and depression.
Dr Nicola Burbidge of Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Cold homes have a significant impact on your health, so it is important to keep your home warm as well as your body. As temperatures continue to drop it is vital we all look after ourselves and our families in the right ways.”
The chances of becoming unwell over this period are higher if you’re vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following:
DID YOU KNOW? On average, there are around 25,000 excess winter deaths each year in England. Strong evidence shows that some of these winter deaths are related to cold temperatures and their consequences, and are easily avoidable.
Keep your home warm
Eat well in winter
Food is a vital source of energy, which helps keep your body warm. If possible try to make sure you have hot meals at least once a day, and hot drinks regularly throughout the day.
It is well known that exercise is good for your overall health, but it can also be efficient in keeping you warm during winter. If you can stay active, even at a moderate level, then it can bring health benefits.
Wear warm clothes
It is important to dress correctly during the winter, and wearing lots of thin layers helps to maintain body heat better than one thick layer. Clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good at maintaining body heat.
Top tip: Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls when walking outside. If possible, stay inside during extremely cold periods if you have heart or respiratory problems.
As temperatures continue to plummet, it is important that everyone is able to heat their home efficiently. Financial and practical help is available for those who need extra help heating their homes. Grants available include the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.
For more information on cold weather benefits and other help available, read the ‘Financial help to heat your home’ section in the Keep warm, keep well leaflet.
How to be energy efficient
Bills can add up over this period, and many people can be left wondering whether it may be worth braving the cold to save financially. There shouldn’t be a need for such a compromise, particularly when it comes to your health and wellbeing. The Energy Saving Trust has advice on how to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient. They can also advise on grants and schemes available around the UK.
Find out more online by visiting the EST website or call 0300 123 1234 (9am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday).