Safe, smart winter
The weather in Beijing is known for it's harshness, it flips from t-shirt to jacket weather within a week. This doesn't leave much time for the body to regulate itself.
The fast influx of cold last week is definitely a contributing factor as to why a few Australian friends living here have been falling ill with 'wind cold' attacks. We're just not use to changing our wardrobe over so quickly. A wind cold attack in Chinese medicine theory is the situation where a cold pathogen gets into the body and causes many different symptoms including cold and flu symptoms as well as other viral symptoms.
I have tried to be smart about it so instead of walking the 15 minutes from the hospital to the subway I have taken to riding in a bang bang che for five kuai, I consider it a health investment.
In other efforts to be smart about this quick cold burst I am dressing appropriately, especially at the back of the neck with a big scarf (if the wind-cold is going to get into your body, this is a likely location), drinking lots of warm ginger and cinnamon tea and trying to get to bed earlier than I have been in the warmer months. If I do happen to exercise I don't let myself get cold whilst my pores are open after sweating.
We can all make a few simple choices to stay well this winter.