Tips for Staying Healthy in New England this Winter

Dr. Mayall

November 22, 2022 Submitted by Mary Kate Paris, Community Outreach Program Manager for Harbor Medical Associates/Mass General Brigham and Dr. Kittika Mayall, DO

We have been lucky with unseasonably warm temperatures this fall, but this is New England and we know the weather will soon shift, if it hasn’t already by the time this article publishes. Providers tell me that patients often ask what they can do to stay healthy during the winter. I turned to Dr. Kittika Mayall, DO, who sees patients at Harbor Medical/Mass General Brigham in South Weymouth, for answers. While she had many suggestions, here are her top five recommendations:

1. Get Vaccinated
The CDC recommends that all individuals ages six months and over get annual flu vaccinations. They indicate that “there are early increases happening in most of the country.”  They recommend vaccination in September and October, however, if you haven’t received your vaccination yet, that is OK. There is still time to protect yourself. Flu typically peaks in February and activity can still occur until May.

2. Walk Slowly and with Caution Outdoors
Black ice, a thin transparent layer of ice that blends in with the road, is very dangerous because it is undetectable. It is important to walk carefully and slowly outdoors and with a mobility device, if that has been recommended for you, to help prevent falls.

3. Practice Hand Hygiene
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water as this is the easiest way to help prevent the spread of viruses.

4. Stay Active
It may be harder to stay active on cold days but getting 30 minutes per day at least 5 times per week of moderate level exercise is important. This can include pedaling on an indoor bike, streaming a yoga video, or taking a nature walk when the weather allows it.

5. Make Nutritious Choices
Have whole grains, fish, poultry, low fat or fat free dairy, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. Limit fatty meats, sugar sweetened beverages, full fat dairy, sweets and sodium intake.

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