Gear Up for Cold Weather

Easy ways to stay well this winter

Woman wrapped up in coat, scarf, and mittens.

When temperatures drop, the risk of sickness and injuries rise. Use this guide to stay healthy, happy, and safe this winter.

Don't Put Off Your Flu Shot

If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, don’t delay. Flu season is already here, and it takes two weeks for the shot’s effects to kick in.

Lather Up

Be sure to lather and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially when in a particularly germy place (like a public bathroom), when handling food, and before eating. No sink in sight? Reach for hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.


Sweltering temps remind us to rehydrate, but that instinct isn’t so obvious when it’s chilly. The Institute of Medicine suggests that men should drink 125 ounces (15 cups) of water per day, while women should aim for 91 ounces (11 cups). Herbal teas, broth-based soups, and fruits and vegetables can help you reach your daily intake goal.

Enlist Help

Whether it’s asking a neighbor for help with shoveling after a snowstorm, or having a friend or family member to talk to if you’re feeling lonely, having helpers is critical during the winter months. If you have COPD, asthma, or heart disease, talk to your doctor about extra precautions to take to stay well.