Be Happy and Healthy This Winter

Tips from the UPMC Health Plan

Happy, healthy woman standing in the cold weather.Is your favorite winter activity staying indoors under a warm blanket in front of the television with a bag of snacks in hand? You’re not alone. Getting through the cold weather with your health and spirits intact is difficult but not impossible. Follow these suggestions for a happier, healthier winter.

Fight the flu

Cold and flu season is fast approaching. Here are some ways to avoid the sniffles.

  • Washing your hands for 15 seconds using soap and warm water is your best defense against germs. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based antibacterial product.
  • Getting a flu shot can reduce your risk of infection by 90 percent. If you don’t like needles, a nasal spray vaccine is available.
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress will help boost your immune system.

Winterize your skin

As the weather turns colder, the dry air causes itchy, dry skin. To keep skin more comfortable during the winter months:

  • Switch to oil-based moisturizers with a minimum SPF of 30 for your face and body, and use them frequently.
  • Protect your hands from the elements with a heavy-duty hand cream, and always wear gloves outdoors.
  • Lips need extra protection, too. A moisturizing lip balm with vitamin E will help prevent chapping.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

Banish the winter blahs with exercise

Don’t pack your exercise gear away with your summer clothes. Staying active during the winter months can lift your mood, help your immune system, and keep you from gaining weight. Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

  • Walk indoors at a local mall. Need extra motivation? Join a walking group.
  • Check out an exercise video at your local library or borrow one from a friend.
  • With proper planning, walking outdoors in winter can be fun and exhilarating. Walk during daylight hours, dress appropriately, and wear skid-resistant shoes.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com