Are you taking care of your health during the cold months?

Published: 21 January 2021

Ice crystals

The cold winter weather puts vulnerable people at a higher risk of health problems.

This winter might unfortunately feel longer than in previous years. During the pandemic, and particularly during a national lockdown, it can be harder to keep ourselves fit, healthy and active, as many of us are at home for the vast majority of the day.

In spite of this, now more than ever we should be looking after our general health as best we can. Cold weather puts vulnerable people at higher risk of health problems than in the warmer months. It’s also worth noting that while anyone can catch COVID, maintaining good general health reduces our risk of becoming seriously ill if we do catch the virus.

Below is some advice on how to keep well during winter.

  • We should do our best to keep up with vaccinations that are available to us – namely, there is still time to get your flu vaccine. Check your pharmacy or GP website for more information. 
  • During the winter we are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D tablet once a day can help protect your bone and muscle health. You can find out more about this on our website.
  • Staying healthy and active whilst staying at home can feel difficult, but there is plenty you can do at home to improve your physical health. For inspiration, there are helpful resources and apps to keep you healthy and our Derby Active service provides videos, information and classes for at-home exercise
  • Derby’s Livewell service offers free support to Derby’s citizens for stopping smoking, and for losing weight. Visit the website to see some incredible case studies of how they have helped people improve their health.
  • Our physical health is, of course, just one aspect of our overall wellbeing. Our mental health is just as important to take care of, and there is plenty of resources and guidance available on how to best improve your wellbeing.

While there is plenty we can do as individuals to stay well, we may not be able to manage alone. Family, friends and neighbours can help but they must follow the guidance and restrictions to keep everyone safe. In some cases you may be able to form support or childcare bubbles.

Each year we work with partners to deliver the City Council's Stay Warm and Well in Derby program to try and help vulnerable people to keep warm, safe and well at home through the cold winter months. There is specialist support available for those in Derby who need it, all year round.

If you are cold, hungry, or struggling in any way, you can call us on 01332 640000 to speak to Derby Direct and explore your options.

The service is open Monday to Friday and is also available via text for Deaf people on 07774333412. You can also visit the Council website to find out more information about the services and support available.

The Department of Health has issued a guide 'Keep Warm - Keep Well’  which offers advice on how to keep yourself warm. The leaflet also includes details for organisations offering practical solutions, financial assistance, and safety advice.

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