Stay Healthy in the Winter


Now more than ever, it’s important for everyone to work on staying healthy through the winter. From sleep to exercise to how to dress, we’ve got some tips for you.

Get outside and suit up appropriately

When it’s cold, we spend hours or even days indoors with heaters and recirculating air. So it’s important to find time to get outside, both for fresh air and natural Vitamin D from the sun. Dress in warm layers so you can easily remove clothing if you get too warm. Even though there may be a lot of clouds, it’s still important to use sunscreen on skin that isn’t covered. And by the way, in case you don’t know, you can use your FSA or HSA to buy that sunscreen. It’s a great way to use up remaining funds before the end of the year.

If exercising out in the cold just isn’t for you, look in to joining a gym or fitness class. See if your job offers any program discounts through a workplace wellness program. Exercise is always a great way to stay healthy, especially in the winter.

Sleep to stay healthy

With the end of Daylight Savings Time and the fewer hours of daylight, sticking to your normal sleep schedule might be hard. The time change can disrupt normal sleep patterns, especially by throwing off your body’s internal clock. Experts offer some non-medical tips such as relaxation, creating and sticking to a routine, avoiding naps, having a regular exercise routine, and slowly shifting your schedule. If you’re still struggling, you can try sleep aids, both over-the-counter and prescription, that may help you – and even better, many of them are eligible for purchase with FSA or HSA funds.

Take care of dry skin

Between cold dry air, indoor heaters, and scratchy wool-based clothing, winter can really put your skin through a ringer. While not all lotions are qualified expenses for FSA and HSA accounts, many of the ones that treat certain skin conditions are, like itching remedies.

Stay ahead of colds and flu

Some people swear by supplements like Vitamins C and D, zinc, and echinacea to keep their immune systems strong and fight off colds and flus. But so many of us will still pick up some type of minor illness during the winter months. Last year, our hand washing, social distancing and covering noses and mouths kept flu numbers down. But it’s still good to be prepared. Keep a stock of cold and flu medicine, sore throat drops and sprays and pain and fever reducers on hand all the time – these are all eligible for your FSA or HSA account and a good way to spend down remaining account balances before the end of year. If you get sick, you’ll want to have these on hand in case you feel too badly to go get them when you really need them.

Stay healthy in winter by having the right remedies on hand, from your favorite supplements, to OTC medications, to grandma’s chicken noodle soup, and remember to use your tax-advantaged healthcare benefit account to pay for qualified purchases.

Captain Contributor is an award-winning employee education and engagement program offered by DataPath, Inc.