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Take care of your health, especially during the winter months


As winter weather approaches, don’t stay cooped up in the house. Get outside for some sunshine and fresh air.[/caption]

As we march boldly into winter, that time of the year when we are a little more careful about our health, going that extra mile to care for ourselves is very important.

One of our first lines of defense, as we go into this season of respiratory infections, is the simple step of making sure we adequately wash our hands. If your hands are visibly dirty, make sure to use soap and warm water. Soap and water are our first line of defense from colds and other viruses. Though hand sanitizers are convenient they may not be the best choice and, in some cases, may not be your friend. Use soap and water whenever you have the chance.

When washing their hands, many people dip their fingers in the water, shake them off and then consider the job done. Well, that may make you feel good because you have done something that may not have helped you get closer to your goal of killing bacteria, so you don’t spread bacteria and viruses to yourself and others. It would be best if you had soap, paper towels and running water. Lather your hands and remove those germs. Most say use a circular motion for 20 seconds but do your best.

Make sure you wash before handling food and certainly after bathroom breaks.

The sun is still your friend even in the cold of winter. Find a way to get adequate sun. This is important for your physical and mental health and keeps that body moving. Try hard not to get into a rut during the cold months. Join friends at a health club or find videos that share exercises you can do.

Continue to eat healthy. When it gets cold, a lot of people start to nest in their homes and gravitate toward those foods we call comfort foods. They make us feel good and loved but tend to have a lot of calories and may not be the healthiest.

Try not to get into that rut. The quality of the food you put in your body is one of the most important things one can do. Be discerning and give it your best.

As people nest into their homes, they may not be getting adequate sleep. Try to keep those sleep hours up. Remember, sleep is best in a cool, dark room. Emphasis on the dark.

Make sure you obtain all your seasonal vaccinations. The flu and COVID vaccinations are not just for you. They help to protect the people around you, especially your family and friends who may have compromised health.

Pay attention to what is going on in your community. Visit your health department’s website and see what the prevalence of flu, COVID and other illnesses are in your area. Be wise, especially if you live in close proximity with people whose health is compromised. Consider wearing a mask when out in public.

Use good common sense. Take care of yourself during the winter months. Winterize your health just as you do for your home and car. Enjoy this time of year and take care of your health needs.

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at