The Kenyan winter is upon us, with temperatures expected to fall to 10°C/50°F. We go through this every year but we still get shocked at the severity. Other than freezing, we get the flu all month long.
How is your health looking though? Had the flu for a while now? Umekapitia, sindio? What is important is to fight off the flu and if everywhere you turn everyone is sick, then your immunity needs to be in tip-top shape.
To kick you off, here are 10 easy ways to stay healthy during the Kenyan winter. They are easy enough to add to your routine.
- Reduce The Spread
To help reduce the spread of the flu and other viruses like COVID-19, you should:
Wash your hands frequently. According to WHO, Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections
- Wipe down surfaces around you with a sanitizing cleaner.
- Keep a distance from those who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong.
- Get the flu shot
Yearly vaccination can help prevent seasonal flu. Getting the flu vaccine — though not 100% effective — is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months or older.
- Maintain an exercise routine
Regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can better fight off the flu. When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits gives you immune-supporting nutrients to protect you from illness. According to the World Health Organization eating at least 400g, or five portions, of fruits and vegetables per day reduces the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
- Stay hydrated
For many of us, our water intake goes down during the colder months. There are fewer visible reminders to ensure you drink water and you are less likely to feel thirsty in the cold weather than you would during the hot months.
Dehydration can seriously weaken our immune system barriers. Lack of water dries out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages which reduces their resistance to infections.
Keeping well hydrated during cold months ensures that the barriers used to protect your body from colds and flu are fully functional and completely intact.
Remember, just because you’re not thirsty doesn’t mean that your body is hydrated.
Since we all can’t go to the coast to escape the cold, keep up your healthy eating habits including incorporating the above tips into your everyday life and you’ll be A-okay. f you need to consult a doctor, feel free to visit any of our Ilara Health clinics in Mwiki (Haven Park Medical Center) and Banana (Grace Home Clinic).