Winter Wellness Care for Aging Adults

by Fit After Fifty
Closeup of a hot beverage in front of a fireplace

Photo by Pexels

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but don’t let it keep you from taking care of yourself. Although wanting to hibernate like a bear may be natural, doing so will make you think twice when spring comes around again. By taking care of your wellness throughout the winter, you will in tip-top shape when the snow melts.

Get Your Flu Shot

The flu is at best a period of aches, chills, and fever and at worst, something much more dangerous. In people with less robust immune systems, the flu can develop into pneumonia, among other complications. Groups at higher risk for complications from the flu include people over 65, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children younger than five years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over six months of age get vaccinated yearly. If you have allergies to egg or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or if you are not feeling well, talk to your doctor before getting a vaccine.

Stay Connected

Winter weather can make it a hassle to get out and about, what with snow, ice and short daylight hours. Too little social interaction can lead to feelings of isolation, which can increase blood pressure and the risk of depression as well as disrupt sleep and lead to general malaise. Make it a priority to get in touch with friends and family, and if you can’t make it to them, consider having a holiday party at your home or talking via video chat.

Hydrate

Cold weather can be more dehydrating than you might realize. Even if you’re not actively sweating, you still lose water when you breathe cold, dry air. Cold weather also fools the body, and we tend not to get as thirsty as on hot days, so we can easily become dehydrated. Make an extra effort to stay hydrated in the winter, and if you are engaging in outdoor activities, check in with yourself every 15 to 20 minutes to gauge your thirst. The bottom line is that you can’t rely on body cues when it’s cold out, and need to be proactive. If cold water doesn’t sound as appealing as it does in warmer months, try drinking herbal teas or hot water with lemon.

Keep Moving

At no time of the year should you neglect your physical and mental fitness. We all know how beneficial physical activity is to overall wellness, and wintertime is no different. Sure, you may not have the same options that you have in warmer seasons, but you can still stay activeindoors if necessary.

 

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