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Posted On: 3 February 2018 03:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:18 pm

10 ways to stay healthy during Qatar’s cold winter months

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We thought we’d almost passed this year’s winter, but it’s getting colder again. And while it may not be frosty or snowy, it can definitely get a little too cold for some of us. Anything below 20 degrees Celsius in the desert can get under our skin – especially in the evening! So get out your jumpers, blankets, scarves, and woolen hats!

But apart from dressing warm, what else should you keep in mind to avoid catching the flu that’s making its second round right about now? How do you access good quality and low-cost healthcare when you need it? And, how do you make sure the people around you stay healthy and fit as well? ILQ has compiled a quick guide to staying healthy in the last stretch of the winter for you!

Get all the vitamin C!

Vitamin C protects your body from catching any infections and helps your immune system! And the best thing is that you can’t get too much of it! Eat lots of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits and help your body fight through the winter!

Access Qatar’s public healthcare system

(Photo credit: Hamad Medical Corporation)

The healthcare system is available to all – regardless of residency or nationality! Hamad Medical Corporation runs five public hospitals and 24 primary healthcare centres. If you require good-quality healthcare, there’s no need to get expensive insurance! At Hamad or Rumailah Hospitals you can acquire a health card for QR 100 if you bring copies of your passport and residence permit, copies of your Qatari ID, and two passport photos. That’s all you need to access primary healthcare in Qatar for the amount of time your residency is valid for! (Health cards are also easily renewed!)

Get your blood checked!

Monitoring your blood is very important – no matter the season! In Qatar, high blood pressure, anemia, Vitamin D deficiency, and diabetes are common, and require treatment and care. Make sure everything is in check so that your body has its full capacity to battle the flu, other infections, and simply keep your body warm and well-circulated!

Exercise outdoors

Don’t skip your workouts this winter! Enjoy the cool weather while it lasts and do yoga outside, kayaking, or dragonboat racing, and ride your bike or a rental in Doha’s parks! Find the right workout to stay fit and have fun outdoors! The weather isn’t going to last!

Use sunscreen

You may not feel like you need to use sunscreen until May, but even when it’s cold and breezy the sun can harm your skin. Avoid sunburns, and use a light sunscreen. For your face, try a daily face cream with SPF. This way your face isn’t only protected from sunburn, but will also stay young longer!

Prevent rather than cure the flu!

With the flu making a come-back, hospitals have started giving vaccinations against it. Make an appointment at one of the public hospitals to keep you from catching it. Because the flu is seasonal, it’s recommended to get a vaccination prior to the season as a precaution! If you’ve caught the flu, make sure to wash your hands frequently and protect others from your sneezes and coughs! Prevention is more effective than treatment once you’ve caught something!

Stay hydrated

You may think that staying hydrated isn’t a priority in winter, but dehydration is often even more common in winter than in summer. This is because, in summer, the heat is a constant reminder of your thirst. In winter, we feel less thirsty but still sweat and lose water. So drink plenty of fluids these days!

Eat well!

Eating well unfortunately doesn’t mean eat rich and a lot, but rather eat balanced. Don’t starve yourself with the aim to lose weight before the summer! Instead eat healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and salmon, and switch between high-carb, low-carb, and medium-carb days. Reduce your sugar intake and eat lots of nutritious fruit and veg!

Stay warm

Staying warm is important, but try to avoid fan heaters and hot air conditioners, which can increase the risk of infections spreading. Instead, why not try to stay warm on the inside? Hot soup, karak, spiced hot chocolate,s and tea! Paired with a cozy sweater, you’ll be all geared up for cold nights!


Don’t forget to catch plenty of z’s! A good six to eight hours of sleep helps your body regenerate, rejuvenate, and replenish its energy. Tired bodies aren’t healthy bodies, so do your best to clock a good number of hours every night for your body to take care of you!

Now that we gave you some tips on staying healthy during this season, why don’t you let us know what you do to stay fit? Don’t let the flu catch you! Stay healthy and safe!

Let us know what you think! And also don’t forget to give us a like and a share – you know it keeps us going!

(Words by Sarah Schroeder)

(Selected images courtesy of iStock by Getty Images)