How to Have a Healthy Winter

By Patricia Claude, RN, Contributing Writer
an image of hands being washed beneath a sink.

Without a doubt, winter is here. Between the icy weather and the recent hustle and bustle of the holidays, everyone is at an increased risk of getting sick.

With that in mind, Occupational Health Services has a few simple tips for staying healthy this winter.

Wash your hands.

Keeping your hands clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness. Handwashing reduces respiratory illnesses like the common cold by 16–21 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To properly wash your hands, lather soap and water and scrub mechanically for 20–30 seconds. Patting your hands dry with a paper towel will help prevent chapping and chaffing. 

Get vaccinated

The most effective way to avoid contacting the influenza virus is to get vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization. Occupational Health Services has vaccines available to employees with an NIH badge, and flu clinics continue to be held daily, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Eat healthy, stay active, and manage your stress.

Remember to make good food choices after the holiday season by limiting your sugar, fat, and sodium intake. Don’t forget to limit your alcohol consumption, as well. A few brisk walks will help keep your waistline slim—or try trading in those walking shoes for some dancing shoes. Dancing is a great way to burn the extra holiday calories.

Finally, if you or any loved ones experience serious stress-related conditions such as depression, remember to reach out to our employee assistance program.

Winter, and especially the holiday season, is a great time to spread cheer and love and to spend time with your loved ones. But don’t let it take a toll on your health. Stay healthy, wash your hands, and make time for memories, not illness.