Winter health and safety tips

The winter season is a time of holiday cheer, community gatherings, and fun-filled activities. Whether you prefer to snuggle up by the fireplace with a good book or spend all day sledding down snowy hills, wintertime is a beautiful season to be enjoyed by all.

Amid the merry festivities, it is also important to maintain healthy habits and remind ourselves of best safety practices. Here are some helpful health and safety tips to make this winter season the best one yet:

“Sleigh” the Winter Blues

The winter season is often accompanied by reduced daylight and gloomier skies. Lack of sunlight and low vitamin D levels can negatively impact one’s mental health. You can boost your spirits by reading and writing, calling a friend, engaging in physical exercise, and nourishing your body with foods high in vitamin D (such as salmon, mushrooms, and egg yolks). Remember that, even on cloudy days, it is important to wear sunscreen outdoors;

’Tis the “Flu” Season

During the colder months, colds, flus, and other respiratory illnesses are more common. One reason is because people spend more time indoors together allowing viruses to pass easily from person to person. You can limit the spread of illnesses by coughing and sneezing into your elbow or upper arm. Also, make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds throughout the day;

This Weather Is “Snow” Joke

Winter snowstorms can occur suddenly and swiftly, so it is important to be prepared. In case of a weather-related emergency, such as a power-outage, you should arrange an emergency kit, including a flashlight, first-aid supplies, and you should stock food. Ensure that your home’s heating system, smoke detectors, and carbon-monoxide detectors are all working properly. Additionally, prepare your vehicle by keeping the tank full to prevent ice from forming in it and checking to see if you need all-weather or snow tires.;

Say Goodbye to Snow- “Flakey” Skin

The winter air can get quite cold and dry, so it is important to hydrate your skin. Diligently apply lotion after drying off from the shower, and use lip balm to protect against cracked lips. A humidifier can help add moisture to your room’s air. Additionally, drinking enough water each day will keep your body hydrated from the inside out;

There’s “Snow” Place Like Home

Though you may be immersed in winter activities, it is important to take ample rest, by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Lack of sleep can compromise your immune system. You should aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Maintaining this routine will allow your body to recover and wake up reenergized to take on the day.

Wintertime is a wonderful part of the year. Enjoy the season to the fullest while bearing in mind the above tips to prioritize your health and safety.


Community Caregivers is a not-for-profit agency supported by community donations and grants from the Albany County Department for Aging, the New York State Department of Health and Office for the Aging, and the United States Administration on Aging.

Editor’s note: Anuja Konda, a Community Caregivers volunteer, is a student at Albany Medical College.