How to Stay Healthy in Winter- 7 Smart Health Moves
It’s no secret that winter can take its toll on your health, both body and mind. One day you are dynamic and full of life, welcoming winter with a spring in your step, and the next day you are sick as a dog researching how to get the flu shot!
Winter comes with loads of fun and memorable adventures, and snow beautifies everything it covers, turning your space into a pristine white wonderland. However, this season can negatively affect your life.
From catching nasty winter coughs and going down with the famous flu virus to developing respiratory infections and suffering from dry and flaky skin, many people feel desperate in winter.
While fluffy blankets, lip-smacking hot chocolate, snuggles with our beloved pets, fresh snow, and those comfortable groovy boots all create the little joys of winter, the decrease in sunlight causes a drop in serotonin which affects our mood and overall mental health.
Beating the winter blues calls for extreme self-care to maintain both physical and mental health. Healthy, in tip-top shape, active, and safe; your winter will turn out to be your favorite season.
Life hacks and some more tips are all you need to make the most out of winter. That’s why we have rounded up some of the most valuable and practical ways to stay healthy in winter:
Imagine it’s bitterly cold outside. You are chilled to the marrow and your hands are blue with cold. Shivering, you are aching to get home.
Now, how would you feel when you finally get back home and curl up in a warm blanket while sipping on a flavorful cup of hot chocolate? Exactly, you feel whole again!
Layers, layers, and more layers! Whether you put on a thermal vest, a long sleeve top, a fleece neck warmer, a sweater, a hat, or a silk undershirt; it’s crucial to dress in layers to survive the biting cold weather.
Your feet are the worst of all the body parts that go numb during winter. Even though you are layered up all over and your entire body is warm, your feet are somehow frozen! But why suffer? Keep your feet warm by putting on some wool socks or inserting foam liners in your shoes for a much-needed layer of insulation.
Look After Your Skin
Just when you thought that your skin problems had come to an end over summer, and now you are officially glowing, winter cunningly creeps in to simply shatter your utopian dreams.
Winter, with its cold temperatures, harsh winds, dry winter air, and low humidity levels, wreaks havoc on your skin and draws its moisture away. Unable to defend itself from the ravages of Mother Nature, your skin becomes itchy, cracked, and dry.
Nothing beats a long, hot shower in winter. It’s like warmth is traveling through your body. However, hot showers strip your skin of essential oils. Instead, warm water will do the trick just fine: you will get to freshen yourself up and maintain glowing skin as well.
Moreover, using a moisturizer and applying sunscreen can breathe new life into your skin. And to shield your skin from dryness even further, use room humidifiers, wash your hands regularly (but not excessively), protect yourself from the wind, and avoid tanning beds.
There’s something about winter that makes us automatically switch to hibernation mode, curling up under our dearest blanket and keeping our motion to a bare minimum. But why? What takes hold of our beings and turns us into these slow-moving creatures, performing everything halfheartedly?
Well, there is a reason. Longer nights, freezing temperatures, and less (to no) exposure to sunlight trigger producing more melatonin, getting less vitamin D and struggling with mood disturbances. The result is winter fatigue.
To boost your energy levels and ready your mind and body for exercise, open your curtains once you wake up to let the light in, get some well-timed caffeine and a healthy meal to freshen yourself up, and finally boost your immune system and beat back winter tiredness with a regular morning workout.
While we tend to focus on drinking more water and staying hydrated in summer, we somehow fail to remember that our bodies thrive on the water in colder weather. Given the fact that our thirst response diminishes during winter, we might not pay attention to our water needs.
Believe it or not, you shouldn’t reach that phase where you feel thirsty, by then your body is already mildly dehydrated and your organs are screaming “water!”.
And whilst “mild dehydration” doesn’t sound like a big deal - trust us when we say, it is.
Headache, confusion, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, and low blood pressure are all signs you are dehydrated. So why not mimic this one family member who (without exception) carries their bottle of water wherever they go?
In case you dread gulping down cold water, you can always warm it up and hydrate your body with other hot beverages like fresh ginger tea, fruit tea, hot lemon, hot chocolate, coffee, or green tea. Plus, consuming fluid-filled, densely-packed-with-nutrient foods is a great way to stay hydrated during winter, be it spinach, tomatoes, oranges, bell peppers, cauliflower, or olive oil.
Let’s cut to the chase! To ensure your body is well hydrated in winter, set a drinking water goal and track your progress using a water consumption app.
Make Balanced Meals
“Let’s have some nachos while watching our favorite show”, “I am freezing, I’ll just order in”, or “I can’t wait to get back home, curl up on my couch and munch on some snacks”.
We’ve all been there. Wondering what happens to our bodies at the onset of winter and why we tend to grab comfort foods. A drop in our bodies' temperature along with releasing less serotonin cause these uncontrollable winter cravings.
Instead of waiting for winter months to come to an end to shed off the extra weight and build a summer body, winterize your diet!
Among the other healthy meals and nourishing foods that you can consume in winter, soup is the most heartwarming of all. If you’re thinking “oh! I might prepare myself a hot creamy beef soup now”, please don’t.
Many less salty, healthier, and mouthwatering alternatives are bound to give you the same satisfaction. Puréed broccoli soup, lemon chicken soup with kale, cabbage soup, lentil soup, spicy bean soup, and many other recipes that are available online for a delicious, soul-stirring dinner.
Not a soup fan? No problem. Try other hearty winter recipes on chilly days: baked sweet potato, grilled chicken with zucchini noodles, fish sticks with glazed carrots, spicy cashew shrimp, butternut squash casserole, grilled salmon with kale on the side, or lemon-thyme Chicken and Potatoes.
Boost Your Mental Health
“It’s a shot in the dark”, “he has a dark cloud hanging over his head”, “let’s keep her in the dark”, or “we all have our dark sides”.
Since the beginning of time, the word “dark” has always had a negative meaning. So it makes sense darker days cause us to be moody, depressed, low-spirited, and worn out.
Instead of giving in to gloomy days, check out the following tips to stay motivated during winter and shield your mind from the winter sorrows:
⁃ Socialize and spend some time with your family and friends to boost your mood.
⁃ Take note of the positive things in your life by asking yourself: “what am I grateful for this year?”.
⁃ Own a journal. Adults too deserve to voice their thoughts and speak their minds. It’s a surefire way to get rid of negative emotions.
⁃ Expose yourself to sunlight. If you believe that you experiencing seasonal depression, step into natural light as much as possible.
⁃ Stay healthy by eating well-balanced meals and exercising regularly.
⁃ Look forward to enjoying your future events, be it a birthday party, a weekly gathering, a treat for yourself, or an adventurous trip.
Take Your Vitamins
It’s official: the flu season is finally here, and hiding under your blanket is not efficient for imposing disease control and keeping viruses at bay.
Staying healthy during winter is not merely about flu vaccines. Taking some winter vitamins as well gives your body an extra boost and spares you some future body aches.
B vitamins, vitamins C and D, zinc, and probiotics are realistic strategies to thwart illness.
How to Stay Healthy and Fit This Winter?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes effort, dedication, patience, and commitment.
Whether you protect yourself ahead with vaccinations, be vigilant about hygiene, exercise regularly, make nutritious choices, reduce stress and eliminate triggers, or stay hydrated; every precaution contributes to a more enjoyable winter.
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