China is a huge, diverse country with a suitably wide range of climates to match.
Whilst some Southern cities may have the pleasure of being warm and temperate all year round, many of the cities further north can be less forgiving. Long, hot Summers and equally long cold and dry Winters are bookended by just a few a few weeks of perfect weather in Spring and Autumn.
In this helpful guide, we will focus on how to stay healthy in the Winter months.
Winter need not be a time to hide away indoors, if you layer up properly. As you go about your daily routine you will experience many different temperatures as shops and other public spaces normally crank up their air conditioning to furnace-like temperatures.
We suggest getting some good base thermals from Uniqlo or Decathlon. Then make sure you have lots of wool jumpers, fleeces, and feather down jackets to add on top, but which can be easily peeled off when you step inside.
Invest in a good jacket and shoes
Thick jackets and sturdy boots take up a lot of valuable space in your case, (that would be better taken up by your favourite snacks) so you could be forgiven for having left them at home.
Don’t worry though, as it is pretty to get your freezing cold mitts on a warm coat here in China. There are many western shops, markets and even Taobao (China’s answer to Amazon) to choose from. There are few things worse than cold feet, and if you think you’ll get away wearing converse all winter then think again, invest in a good pair of boots to keep your feet nice and warm.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
We’re not your mom, but a good diet is one of the best ways to ensure you stay healthy and survive the Winter.
If it is cold outside then there is nothing better than tucking into some comfort food such as a nice hot cheesy pizza, but don’t forget to put away some fruit and vegetables to get your vitamins. The best way to fight a cold is to eat and drink your way through it.
*Side note: The Chinese like to put fruit on their pizza, so if you can stomach that, then you are in luck!
“Anti-bac” the s**t out of everything
We can’t stress this enough – germs get everywhere and we know that many of you are here to work with children, who are little germ machines (bless ‘em). Carry a bottle of antibacterial dry handwash in your pocket at all times, and when you hear that sneeze, anti-bac!
Wear a mask
Stop those germs getting in (or out) by wearing a mask. If you are sick, you will be doing everyone else a favour and if you’re not, it will help prevent you from getting ill. Also, it’s great for those polluted days which roll around once in a while.
Don’t scrimp on heating
You are here to work and you are not a student anymore, so put that heating on! Why freeze your ass off in a cold apartment when you could be nice and toasty with the heating on. Besides, energy bills are much lower than in Western countries.
The Winters can be super dry – especially in places such as Beijing which is right beside the desert – so make sure you stock up on plenty of moisturisers and lip balm. As you may be aware, the Spring Festival holiday is in February and, if you stay moisturized, you won’t be all flaky when you are lying on that beach in Thailand.
Drink hot water
This is the Chinese answer to everything and despite our initial scepticism, we are now firm believers in this as well. The best way to get through winter is to drink plenty of hot water 24/7, seriously!
We hope you found our tips helpful and if you are already a seasoned China expert, then leave a comment below with your own advice on how to stay healthy in Winter!