Winter wellness with Dr Chanwai

Winter wellness with Dr Chanwai3 May 2023

We're already seeing headlines stating that hospital emergency departments (EDs) are overwhelmed. And it's not officially winter yet! As we head into the colder months our EDs, after-hours clinics and urgent care centres get even busier. So here are a few friendly tips from one of our Co-Founders, Dr Giles Chanwai, advising on some simple strategies to help you stay well this winter...

Enjoy the outdoors
Although it can be tempting to stay tucked up under a rug inside, gear up for the outdoors and continue to get there. As the saying goes "there's no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing!".

Eat seasonal fruit and veggies
In winter put roast kumara, parsnip and pumpkin - and leafy greens like silverbeet and bok choy - on the menu. Nutritious hot soups are great. As is vitamin C rich kiwifruit, oranges, persimmons and mandarins.

Catch up on a bit of extra rest
Try and enjoy a little more sleep during the winter months by going to bed 30 mins earlier. When it’s dark outside nothing beats listening to the pitter patter of rain on the roof from inside a cosy bed. Enjoy it.

Stay in touch with loved ones
It may take a little extra effort to stay social in winter but making time to catch up with people will help mentally fortify you through the winter months.

Maintain vitamin D
If you're catching every cough and cold that's going around, it might pay to check your vitamin D levels with a blood test. This circles back to my first two tips: try and get outside during daylight hours when you can and eat lots of colourful fresh produce.

Keep up your exercise
It can be easy to skip the gym or ditch your daily walk when it's raining. But maintaining regular exercise will help keep away the winter blues. If you really don’t want to go outside, like you otherwise would, maybe try a new class or see what’s on at your local community hall?

As always, we hope you breeze through winter and don’t need to see a doctor. But if you do need us this winter know that we’re online 24/7 and happy to help. You can register now if you want to be prepared ahead of any unforeseen accident, illness or medical emergency.

Best wishes for a happy, safe and healthy winter ahead.

Dr Giles Chanwai