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Staying healthy through winter

  •   by Medihelp
  •   20 March 2017
  •   1132 view(s)

Many South Africans dread the colder months because not only does it limit our braai weather, it also means that the awful flu virus will have us feeling under the weather. Here are some easy, budget-friendly tips to help you stay healthy throughout winter.

Get a flu shot
A flu vaccination can offer you up to 90% protection against infection and can also mean less severe symptoms and a shorter sickbed. It can be a lifesaver for people with weakened immune systems and helps you have a much more pleasant winter.

Medihelp will pay for the cost of the vaccine from your benefits for preventive care, your savings account or your day-to-day benefits, depending on your benefit option. If you get your vaccination from a Dis-Chem or Clicks pharmacy clinic, Medihelp will also pay for the cost of administering the vaccination, as specified by the rules of your benefit option.  Click here to find a pharmacy in your area.

Take a good multivitamin supplement
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a multivitamin best suited to your lifestyle and health profile. Taking a daily supplement will assist your immune system to resist infections. Always take your supplement with a meal that contains a little bit of healthy fat to help your body absorb it more effectively.

Get enough sleep
Your body repairs itself and carries out crucial processes while you sleep. When you sleep enough, these processes can take place uninterrupted, assisting your body in resisting infections.

Eat healthy
Although winter menus tend to be richer and you might be tempted to have that extra cup of tempting hot chocolate, a healthy diet will be more beneficial to your immune system. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (especially those high in vitamin C), steer clear of unhealthy fat and limit your sugar intake.

Stay active
Exercise will boost your immunity and help you burn off the calories gained from winter’s culinary indulgences. It also stimulates endorphin production, helping you stay in good spirits and avoid winter depression. Make the most of mild days by dressing warmly and participating in some outdoor activities. Or hit the gym if that suits you better. Whatever you do, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise three times per week.

You can also join Medihelp MultiSport for walkers, runners and cyclists and have access to training tips, a forum for interaction with other athletes and discount for participation in Medihelp-sponsored events.

Drink plenty of water
Water enables your body to carry out a myriad of metabolic processes, contributes to optimal brain functioning and assists your kidneys in flushing toxins from your body.

Wash your hands regularly
Research has shown that one of the best ways to avoid infection is to wash your hands regularly. During the course of a normal day you touch many surfaces and come into contact with many people. You don’t always have a choice to avoid someone who has flu. By washing your hands regularly, you kill germs and avoid getting infected. Also learn to touch your face less. When you touch your face, you inevitably transfer germs from your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth, which then become entry points for viruses.

Spending a little time to stock up on healthy foods and supplements. Taking preventive measures will enable you to enjoy winter’s unique and cosy indulgences without the sniffles.
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