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Don't let the colder months leave you feeling blue, get winter ready with Medichecks
As the winter nights draw in and the weather gets colder, our health and mood can take a hit. From November to March, we are more susceptible to colds and flu, we can suffer from dry skin and hair, we experience more aches and pains, and our mood can darken just like the days.
During this busy time of the year spent organising winter festivities and buying presents for loved ones, don't forget to take a moment to look after a very important aspect of your life – your health! Unless we are suffering from any noticeable symptoms, we often put monitoring our health to the back of our minds, but this should be a priority for us all this winter in order to see if there are any changes we could be making to improve our health and prevent illness.
Our best-selling Health and Lifestyle Check is an excellent entry-level health check which gives a detailed insight into your inner health. Don’t panic about having to take time out of your busy Christmas schedule, this test can be completed in the comfort of your own home, with the results and doctors’ comments sent straight back to you within a few days.
This simple check helps to investigate niggling health concerns that may crop up at this time of the year - could an underactive thyroid be to blame for your dry skin and hair? Could low iron or vitamin B12 levels be to blame for your fatigue and low energy levels? Are you one of the millions of people with insufficient or even deficient vitamin D? Keeping track of your health has never been easier - our Health and Lifestyle Check measures important markers for liver, kidney and heart health as well as tests for inflammation, iron and key vitamins for energy and optimal health.
1. Supplement with vitamin D - the advice from Public Health England is that adults should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D, particularly during autumn and winter. And those with darker skin should consider taking it all year round. Symptoms of low vitamin D include fatigue, bone pain and depression.
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - in winter our immune systems are often susceptible to colds and flu. Eating a diet containing a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly seasonal ones, will help with optimal immune function during this time of year.
3. Consider a flu jab - if you are healthy, a flu jab may not be necessary. However, the NHS recommends it for people 65 and over, those with certain underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. A flu jab may give you some added protection this winter.
4. Get some light - many people suffer from low mood and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) at this time of year. Getting outside whilst it is light, even just for a 10 minute lunchtime walk, can help lift your mood. Light alarm clocks and SAD lamps that mimic natural light can also improve symptoms.
5. Get plenty of sleep - with Christmas parties, late-night online shopping and increased alcohol consumption, our sleeping patterns can be disrupted at this time of year. Not only is sleep important for our moods, but it is also crucial for our health, with regular lack of sleep putting us at risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Try to aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, but don't beat yourself up if this isn't achieved every night. After all, Christmas is about having fun!
There's no reason for the winter months to affect our well-being, so if you are worried that there could be more the blame for your malaise than just the dark, cold nights, get yourself Medichecked. Following your results, a Medichecks doctor will comment and advise on your results, allowing you to take the necessary steps to lift your spirits just in time for the festive period!