Fighting off colds, seasonal affective disorder, higher blood pressure – there’s a lot to keep safe from during the colder months in the UK, especially with Covid-19 now added to the list. The cold weather can be a bit of a worry for those in their later years as bodies respond differently and are more susceptible to health problems.

With a bit of planning, and by following some of our preventative measures, you can stay healthy, safe and cosy during the colder temperatures.

Keep active 

When the dark, longer nights draw in, the last thing you want to be doing is taking a walk in the cold outside, even popping to the shops can seem like a huge task. However, making sure you’re still moving regularly is a top priority in the winter months.

A study by Aging Care has shown that the longer you spend your time staying sedentary, the quicker you age. Staying still for too long can increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes and even reduced life expectancy. A sedentary lifestyle can also have negative effects on your bone health, making you prone to fractures and falls.

Our tips for keeping an active lifestyle
  • Don’t push yourself too hard, start from where you feel comfortable
  • If it’s not too cold, go on a short walk around lunchtime
  • Stay active at home where you can – walk between rooms, get up to make a cup of tea and spread tasks across the day
  • Try chair-based exercises
Keep your home warm 

Keeping your environment warm in the winter is vital for many older adults as they lose body heat easily. Even if the winter isn’t severely cold, the change in temperature can make the elderly more susceptible to illnesses.

However, the rising costs of energy and gas we have been facing in the past year may have led to difficulties when it comes to heating your.

Our tips on heating your home efficiently
  • Keep curtains closed when it’s dark to keep heat in
  • Turn any radiators off in unused rooms and close the doors
  • Use blankets, heat pads or a hot water bottle
  • Keep your heating system at 20/21 degrees celsius to keep a steady temperature all day long
  • Use draft excluders
  • Check if you are eligible for GOV.UK’s Warm Home Discount Scheme
Eat nourishing food 

Who doesn’t love a hearty hot meal when it’s cold outside? Eating at least one hot meal and multiple hot drinks throughout the day is a great way to keep warm. Including a range of foods in your diet and ensuring you aim to consume five portions of fruit and vegetables each day can help you stay healthy when the weather turns colder.

Our tips to stay healthy
  • Consider taking a vitamin D supplement
  • Keep a stock of basic food items in the cupboard or freezer
  • Order your food shopping online
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat a range of fruits, vegetables and hot meals
Get proper rest 

Whilst it’s important to keep active during this time of the year, the winter season can be the best time to rest and recuperate. Sleep is an important part of keeping a healthy immune system and maintaining good mental health.

Our tips for getting proper rest
  • Avoid stimulating TV shows before bed
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening
  • Make sure you have warm enough bedding
  • Avoid napping in the day if you find it disturbs your sleep
  • Avoid screens and scrolling on social media before bed
Prevent the winter blues 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern, it’s commonly linked to the lack of sunlight available in winter. Symptoms of SAD can include persistent low mood, irritability, feelings of despair and much more. To find out more about SAD, check out the NHS website for more information.

Our self-care tips
  • Keep in touch with loved ones
  • Make the most of the natural light available – go for walks in the day, sit near windows when indoors and make your living environment as airy as possible
  • Keep as active as possible
  • Finding a way to manage stress levels
  • Eat a balanced diet

Looking after yourself in the winter is important. Be sure to keep an eye out for any elderly or vulnerable loved ones you have in your life and make sure they’re staying well during the cold winter months. 

At Bequest, we are committed to protecting your loved ones when you’re no longer around to do so. For more information on our life insurance and wills, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

No nonsense life cover is just a few minutes.

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