Skip to main content
Home > Health Defence Blog > Keep active in winter – boost immunity and fight off the winter blues!
Health Defence Blog

Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!


Guest blogger: Lorna Stevenson - CHSS Respiratory Co-ordinator

January 29, 2017

We all find it difficult to stick to our good habits over the winter.  When it is cold and dark outside the sofa can be very appealing making it harder to stay active.  But try not to give in, some studies have found that being active can boost your immune system, helping you to fight coughs and colds!  Being active also improves your mood and can help to fight those winter blues.  A change in the weather can also be a good excuse to try something new!

Why not try some indoor activities:

  • Swimming
  • Fitness classes or indoor cycling
  • Yoga or pilates
  • Tai chi
  • Or a sport like table tennis, badminton, or ten-pin bowling where you can decide how energetic you want to be!

Even when it’s a bit chilly, it is nice to get out for a bit of fresh air. 

Here are a few tips that can help you to feel your best when you go out:

  • Wrap up! Remember you will lose most heat from any part of your body that is not covered up so wear a hat, scarf and gloves.
  • Doing a little warm up indoors, before you head out, can stop you from feeling cold. Anything that gets your pulse going! Swinging your arms, marching on the spot or using the stairs can work well.
  • When you’re out stick to well lit areas and wear bright clothing.
  • Wear shoes that have good grip and stick to paths and pavements that have been gritted.
  • If you use inhalers, and know that the cold or wind makes you breathless or wheezy, use it before you go out.
  • If the weather tends to affect your symptoms, and you use a mobile phone, contact the CHSS Advice Line Nurses and ask about signing up for the Air Quality & Weather Text Alert Service.
  • Remember, don’t exercise if you ‘feel rotten’ or have a fever as this can make you more unwell.
  • Remember if you have a long term health condition and are feeling a bit under the weather you may not be able to do as much as normal.

For further advice about exercising with a long-term health condition, phone the Advice Line Nurses on Freephone 0808 801 0899.

The CHSS ‘Just Move’ factsheet has further helpful information on how to be more active, no matter what time of year.

***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

Share this page
  • Was this helpful ?
  • YesNo