Winter is finally here and while most of us would prefer to rather withdraw into the warm depths of a blanket, there's really no need to give this season the cold shoulder. We take a look at some of the things you can do to put the fun back into winter and keep you happy and healthy, with and without medical aid.
Enjoy the snow
Yes, here in South Africa! During the winter season, the mountain regions in the Cape Boland and Kwazulu-Natal (especially the Drakensberg) receive a generous amount of snowfall. So gear up and go build a snowman or engage in a snowball fight. And, as no winter is complete without some extreme fun, head over to the Tiffindell Ski Resort in the Southern Drakensberg for an authentic ski and snowboarding experience.
Play some sports
This winter it's all about staying warm, healthy and fit and what better way to do that than to play your favourite winter sports? Join a local rugby club or simply gather your friends for a good game of rugby in the park if you prefer going the social route.
Hit the gym
Another way to stay fit, healthy, and warm is to get a gym membership and start flexing some muscle. If you haven't lived up to that New Year's resolution, then there is no better time to start working on that summer body than now.
Get involved in charity
Winter can be a nasty experience for those living on the streets. So why not warm a few hearts (including yours) by starting a soup and bread kitchen or volunteering within one? Alternatively, donate your unwanted winter clothing to the homeless. Need some motivation? Research has shown that volunteer work can actually improve your physical health and sense of well-being.
Go see Disney on Ice
Mickey Mouse and Co. will be sliding their way back into the hearts of young South Africans (or those who feel young-at-heart) with their Let's Celebrate show. Just in time for the winter school holiday, the show is scheduled to take place in the months of June and July, in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Go citrus crazy
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And lots of other things... Now that citrus fruits are abundant and cheap, you can go wild on them. Eat them fresh (they're high in Vitamin C, which can support your immune system), cook some homemade marmalade for your friends and family, make your own citrus cleaner, use citrus peels as food decorations or use them on your skin (for a healthier complexion).
Let this season bring out the artist in you. Grab your camera or paintbrush and capture the beauty of winter: the barren trees, the snow covered landscape, a frozen pond, interesting cloud formations, rainbows – the possibilities for inspiration are endless.
Shop in the clearance section
Beat the winter blues by hitting the summer stock clearance sale section of your nearest clothing store. Nothing can make you feel better than being able to now afford that pair of shoes you've been eyeing for months.
No one should face the dark and cold of winter all by themselves. Find that special person who will bring sunshine to your rainy days. Snuggle up in front of the fire together and share a box of chocolate. You may find that romance is just the thing you need to stay healthy and live longer, as some research has claimed.
Host a foreign student
South Africa is a popular destination for student exchange programmes. If you're tired of the same company each day, you should consider hosting a foreign student. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about another culture, while showing your guest what it means to be truly South African. It can be an enriching experience for both parties. Be sure to let your insurance provider know about the temporary resident to find out how their presence may affect your risk profile.
Get medical cover
Winter exposes us to illnesses such as colds and flu and more serious threats such as a higher likelihood of heart attacks and increased blood pressure, placing your health at greater risk. Get medical aid cover now to ensure a safe and stress free winter for you and your family. Unsure where to start? Use the Hippo quote comparison tool to find the best medical aid and hospital cash cover for you.