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Winter in Queensland

Tuesday 6 June 2017

On a sunny day, a woman stands wearing a hat, sunglasses and a long sleeve shirt.
It might not get extremely cold during a Queensland winter, but the change in weather could still affect your health.

Winter in Queensland: if you’re up north you might not even notice much of a change in weather, while Western and Southern Queenslanders will definitely feel a nip in the air.

Below we’ve listed some key things you can do to stay healthy throughout a Queensland winter.

Protect yourself from the flu

It’s not too late to get your flu shot, but you need to do it soon in order to be protected during peak flu season.

After you get the flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to build up immunity to the vaccine strains it includes. Getting a flu vaccine doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but it gives you the best chance of not getting the flu, ending up in hospital with severe flu, or passing it on to those most at risk of getting seriously ill.

In addition, you can protect yourself and stop the spread of flu this winter by:

  • staying at home when you’re sick
  • washing your hands regularly and before preparing food
  • using a tissue or the inside of your arm when coughing or sneezing
  • throwing tissues away immediately after use and washing your hands
  • not sharing cigarettes, cups, lipstick, toys or other objects that come in contact with the mouth or nose
  • and regularly cleaning surfaces that are touched often, like door handles, taps, tables, benches and fridge doors.

Be mindful of the sun

When there’s a chill in the air, it can be tempting to lie out in the sun and let its rays warm you up. But regardless of the time of year, harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is still present in Queensland’s trademark sunshine, with moderate and high levels measured across much of the state even during winter. Follow the five steps ‘Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide’ to make sure you’re protected.

A picture of five sun safety icons - a broad brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt, shady tree, sunglasses and SPF 30+ sunscreen.You might think that you need to seek extra sun in winter to get enough vitamin D, but this isn’t the case and could see you exposed to dangerous levels of UVR. Most Queenslanders already get enough sun exposure to maintain healthy vitamin D levels from regular outdoor activities, like walking to the bus or gardening, and don’t need to deliberately get any extra sun on their skin.

Remember to hydrate

While hydration might be on your mind while you sweat it out in summer, it’s important to keep sipping water in winter, too. Make sure you drink enough water every day, and take extra care after exercise or when spending time in dry, heated environments.

Cook some healthy comfort food

As the temperature drops, warm, hearty meals start to sound extra appealing. The good news is it’s easy to make warming comfort food at home that will provide some winter cheer and keep you healthy and happy at the same time.

Check out the recipes on Healthier. Happier. to keep you fed and well this winter.

A warming meal on a table, with a lamb shank sitting on top of potatoes and a tomato sauce.

Get your vitamins from fruit and veg

You might think that popping a few extra vitamin C tablets will help protect you from winter germs, but a healthy diet is the best foundation for maintaining a healthy body.

Fruits and vegetables contain not only vitamins, but minerals and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), that all work together to provide great benefits for your body, including your immune system. They can also be a great source of fibre and water.

Find out what fresh produce is in season in winter, and make a goal to eat five servings of vegetables and two of fruit each day.

Last updated: 31 May 2017