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HealthUnlocked > Resources > Stay well this winter

Just 22% of people who use HealthUnlocked feel confident managing their health in winter

It's for good reason - cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. When the temperature drops below 8°C, some people are at increased risk of:

Heart attack
Falls and injuries

But the NHS has some suggestions on how to stay well this winter! Find them below.

You can get a flu vaccine from your GP or pharmacist

You can get a flu vaccine from your GP or pharmacist

Fight the flu!

Loads of HealthUnlocked users have already had their flu vaccine this year - a total of 70%. But for the 30% who have not had their jab, it's not too late! The flu vaccine is available throughout winter to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications. If you're healthy, flu will usually clear up on its own within a week. But flu kills around 8,000 people with a long-term condition every winter.

You could have a flu jab if you have one of the following conditions:

COPD, bronchitis, emphysema or asthma
Heart disease
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
Lowered immunity as a result of disease or medical treatment, such as steroid medication or cancer treatment
A neurological condition, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, or a learning disability
A problem with your spleen, including sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
A BMI of 40 or above

Ask a pharmacist

Worryingly, 46% of people who have heart disease, or who have had a stroke, would wait to get advice from healthcare professional until their winter illness showed signs of getting worse!

Most coughs and colds don’t develop into anything serious, but it’s worth taking extra precautions during the winter months, particularly if you already have a health condition. If you’re concerned about a winter illness, visit your local pharmacist. They are trained health professionals - the perfect first port of call.

Seventy-seven per cent of HealthUnlocked users would act on advice from a pharmacist if they get a winter illness – and they’re totally right! It’s best to seek advice from a pharmacist if you start to feel unwell. Even if it’s a cough or cold, don’t wait.

Lots of pharmacies now offer a detailed consultation about your medicines called a Medicines Use Review (MUR). An MUR is especially useful for people who are taking several medicines. Find out more about how your pharmacist can help.

Find your closest pharmacist

Find your closest pharmacist

Stay warm, stay well

Cold weather can affect your health – both when you’re outdoors and indoors. If you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition your home should be heated to at least 18°C. The good news is, 72% of HealthUnlocked users already do!

During the day, you may prefer to keep your living room slightly warmer than 18°C. For more guidance on keeping your house warm, visit our website.

It’s also sensible to take practical steps to help family members or friends who might be at the greatest risk of ill health, by going to the shops for them, for example. Fifty-eight per cent of HealthUnlocked users are planning to!