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Health in Winter

Page history last edited by Ann Vipond 1 year, 4 months ago

 Stay healthy in winter


As we get older, changes to our bodies mean that cold weather and winter bugs affect us more than they used to, what we can do to keep healthy.  


Our immune system doesn’t function as well as we age, Our immune system helps us fight off germs and infections.

Colds, flu and pneumonia are all more common in winter. Last year over 60% of cases of flu that needed hospital treatment were in people over 65. So it's a good idea to take extra steps to avoid a nasty illness.


The cold puts more pressure on our hearts and circulatory systems. As we get older, our body has to work harder to keep us warm.

If you're exposed to a cold environment for a long time, or in extreme cold for only a short time, your blood pressure rises and your blood thickens. This can increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke. 

What you can do 

Wrap up well when you go out in the cold

Layering's the best way to keep warm in winter. Don't forget a hat, gloves, thick socks and a scarf.

Make sure your home is warm enough

The ideal room temperature you should be aiming for is about 21 degrees in your living room, and about 18 degrees in your bedroom.


Read this very useful pdf from Age UK ageukig27_winter_wrapped_up_inf(1).pdf


Our bodies lose muscle mass, so don’t keep us as warm

If you find you feel the cold more than you used to, that's totally normal. 

From about the age of 55, we lose around 1% of our muscle mass every year. It doesn't sound a lot, but muscle is what keeps us warm. 

What you can do 

Keep moving

Try not to sit still for more than one hour at a time. Even if just move your arms and legs, it'll help keep you warm.

Eat well

Aim for at least one hot meal every day as well as warm drinks throughout the day.


Read these lovely recipes supplied by Age UK.age-uk-id202697-recipes-for-a-warmer-winter.pdf



What to do when the weather's particularly bad


Fortunately really bad weather doesn’t come around too often in the UK. But it’s worth making sure you’re prepared if we are told to expect severe weather, especially winter storms, ice or snow.


Beat the bad weather with these simple steps


  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast. It's good to know what to expect. 
  • If bad weather is forecast, make sure you have everything you need. Check you've got enough medication and stock up on food to keep in the cupboards or freezer in case it's harder to leave the house. 
  • Take extra care if the ground is slippery. Wear shoes with good grip and consider keeping salt and sand mixture handy to grit paths. You could ask your neighbours for help to clear paths or driveways clear in bad weather - the vast majority of people are more than happy to help. 
  • Plan ahead when driving. Try to avoid going out in the car in bad weather if at all possible, and make sure you follow advice on driving conditions near you. If you do need to go out, keep blankets, some snacks and a shovel in the car in case you get stuck. 
  • Have a torch at home in case of a power cut. Don't forget to check the batteries!
  • Keep emergency numbers nearby. Having the number for your energy supplier on hand can be really helpful if there's a power cut. You can also register with your supplier so they'll call you in the event of a power cut.



Advice from the Met Office

The Met Office website has lots of useful advice on keeping safe when the weather's bad.

Read more on their website


Information supplied by Age UK 


Useful sites:

Age UK






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