Recent falling temperatures remind us that winter is coming – and Somerset County Council and health partners urge everyone to take simple steps to prepare and stay well during the coldest months of the year.

To help everyone ‘keep well, stay well’ this winter, Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health, Trudi Grant and Dr Ed Ford, Chair of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and a Minehead GP are reminding everyone of the simple things they can do to help make this winter a healthier one.

Trudi said,

“Look out for your family, friends and neighbours this winter, and if they live alone try to pop by at least once a week. On your visit, check their home is warm enough, they have enough food and medication and have had a flu jab. Also, check if they can get out and about if they want to.

“Cold, damp weather can make existing health problems worse and you’re more likely to fall ill so it’s important to keep warm – heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can. You might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.

“Some of the best things for your health this winter is to keep active, eat well and stay hydrated. You don’t have to run a marathon, short walks can help keep you well.”

Dr Ed Ford, Chair of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Minehead GP said,

“Winter brings with it a whole range of illnesses and ailments such as flu, coughs ,colds and Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug. Prevention is always better than cure. In the first instance, make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked. Don’t forget that pharmacists can advise on medicines you should have in your cabinet to help you and your family through winter, and if you start to feel unwell, a qualified pharmacist can also advise you before it gets more serious.”

Other top tips include:

  • Eating a wide range of vegetables, fruit and protein will help you keep well this winter
  • Drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated – 6 to 8 glasses every day.
  • If you are lonely, try to get involved in some social activities. There may be events at your local community centre, join a group of like-minded people, or take up a new hobby. Taking the first step can be difficult, but the long-term benefits can be enormous.

For more information on winter tips and advice, check out https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/

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