When winter rolls around in New York, you can expect some fun in the snow. But it’s not all fun and games, as your immune system gets put to the test in the cold. A lot of kids and adults end up visiting a Brooklyn medical center for treatment for the flu or a winter-related injury. Most people also don’t exercise as often in the winter as they do when the weather is nice. However, there’s no need to worry, as there are many precautions you can take to maximize your chances of staying healthy this winter.
- Stop bacteria and viruses in their tracks by consistently washing your hands. Cleaning your hands is one of the easiest ways to avoid getting sick. To make sure your hands are clean, lather up your hands with soap and make sure you wash for 30 seconds or more. Do this every time before eating, and make sure to wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
- If someone in your household just came back from a Brooklyn medical center diagnosed with a sore throat, mouth infection, cold, or flu, tell the person to throw away his or her toothbrush after getting healthy again. Germs linger around on your toothbrush, and brushing with a dirty toothbrush after you’ve recovered from your illness could lead to reinfection.
- According to a study from the University of New Hampshire, many people report not feeling thirsty very often during winter. Not drinking enough water leads to dehydration and this makes your body much more likely to get sick. Water helps flush out toxins and transports nutrients throughout your body. A good rule of thumb is to take your bodyweight, cut the number in half, and drink that number of ounces of water each day. For example, a person that weighs 140 pounds would want to drink 70 ounces of water a day.
- Your skin needs extra protection during the winter. If you have a humidifier, aim for a humidity level that ranges between 40 percent and 50 percent. Take short showers because long showers dry your skin out, and remember to apply lotion after drying off. Also, make sure you put on sunscreen before going outside. Sunscreen may sound unnecessary in the winter, but the sun glare from snow could cause damage to your skin.
- Don’t skip out on your flu shot, and if possible, take the entire family to get their shots, too. New moms and expectant moms should make it a top priority to get a flu shot. Not only does it protect the soon-to-be mother, but it helps protective antibodies get to the baby while breastfeeding. If possible, it’s also smart to get the entire family whopping cough vaccinations.