During the winter months it’s more important to stay active and maintain nutrition. Since it is cold outside people tend to spend twice as much time indoors in close quarters with each other. While this great for bonding and getting in some good quality time, it is not best for health. Bacteria and germs spread from person to person at a higher rate when it's cold outside. There are ways that you can avoid a decline in your health during winter.
Take Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements during the winter can help keep your immune system from dwindling. The lack of sunlight during winter can throw your eating habits off balance. Taking supplements restores lost nutrition keeping your body feeling healthy. You will need it to keep up with the holiday festivities and winter fun! Certain supplements can help fight dryness and boost your immunity during winter months.
Exercising in the winter may not sound like fun, but it is good for everyone. The cold weather should not excuse you from your workouts. Maintaining your workouts will help you feel more energized and in a better mood. Before you get ready to bare the cold is it helpful to do a 10 minute warm-up indoors to prepare yourself. All it takes is a jog through the neighborhood or a walk to the park. Physical activity will get your blood moving, heart pumping, and your serotonin flowing. If you suffer from asthma or heart conditions, talk to your doctor about the best way to exercise during winter. If the temperature outside is 0 degrees or less, do a workout indoors instead. Don’t exercise in snow or rain unless you have waterproof workout gear.
Dress in Warm Layers
Before you go running out the door make sure you’re covered from head to toe. Cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels- raising the risk of heart attack. Staying warm along with making sure you are well enough to deal with the cold, is essential. If you are not in good health or are not usually active, keep your workout indoors during winter months. Shoot for at least three layers of loose fitting clothes for maximum warmth.
Wash Your Hands
There are more germs to contend with in the cold months of the year. So, it's important to remember to wash your hands more than usual. Your immune system will suffer otherwise. People have a tendency to touch their faces, eyes, nose, and mouth without even thinking about it. Always wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. When you wash your hands with soap, germs that you’ve picked up will wash away. People don’t realize that the folds in your palms are the perfect home for germs to live in. When washing your hands you should scrub them for at least 20 seconds for the best results. According to the CDC, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the spread of microbes in most cases. Alcohol based hand sanitizers can also do the trick if you are unable to wash your hands. Just make sure the sanitizer is at least 60% alcohol.
Drink Lots of Water
It’s been said many times but it’s true, the key to good health is being well hydrated. A glass of ice cold water in the winter doesn’t sounds as nice as in the summer but your body will beg to differ. Luckily room temperature water is better for you anyway! Cold dry air, wind chill, sweating, and even shivering all contribute to dehydration. Drinking water also helps maintain your metabolism. Being hydrated curbs your appetite- making it easier to resist those holiday leftovers.
Keep Eating Healthy
Snacking is always tempting during the holiday season while it’s cold outside. Even more tempting are comfort foods and cuddling up by the fireplace. If your favorite healthy foods are no longer in season, seek some alternatives. Use it as an opportunity to try new dishes and have some fun in the kitchen. If that doesn't cut it for you then stock up on your favorite frozen fruits and veggies in the meantime.
Being stuck indoors with people more often may make you feel more stressed and on edge. Be sure to step away and make time for yourself. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind, even if it is in the form of a massage or a yoga session. Doing some deep breathing and relaxing can act a as a form of stress relief. Being less stressed may help boost your immune system and steady blood pressure. Studies show that meditation may fight anxiety, depression and even some digestive disorders.