During the winter it’s important to make sure you stay fit and well. These practical preventative steps can help you stay healthy throughout the winter months.

  • Get a flu jab. This is free if you are aged 65 or over, have certain medical conditions or live in a residential or nursing home
  • Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside
  • Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active if you can
  • Regularly washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of viruses
  • Trips and falls can increase in icy weather so learning a few simple first aid steps can come in handy, for example, how to deal with strains and sprains or broken bones
  • Make sure you have enough food and medicines to last you a few days in case the weather changes suddenly.

NHS Health Checks

Think of your NHS Health Check as a “midlife MOT”. Aimed at adults in England aged 40 to 74, it checks that some of your body’s most important systems are running smoothly. Among other things, your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI are checked.

It works out your risk of developing some of the most disabling – but preventable – illnesses and can detect potential problems before they do real damage. Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented or their impact reduced.

What happens at a NHS Health Check?

At your check, you’ll be asked some questions about your lifestyle and family medical history. You’ll also have some routine tests. If you’re over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia, and you’ll be made aware of memory services nearby.

Your NHS Health Check will assess your risk and give you personalised advice on how to reduce it and stay healthy. This advice could include suggestions on small changes to your diet or how much exercise you should take if your risk is low or moderate.

By having a routine NHS Health Check every five years, you can take action early and greatly improve your chance of a longer, healthier and happier life. You may be surprised how some small, long-lasting changes to your lifestyle can make a huge difference. Your initial check-up and any follow-up appointments or tests are free of charge.

How to get a NHS Health Check

You’ll be invited for an NHS Health Check every five years if you are between 40 and 74 years old, as long as you don’t have an existing vascular condition. You’ll usually get your NHS Health Check at a GP practice or local pharmacy.

Download our free Getting ready for winter guide (1.12MB)