Now that our area has finally seen some temperatures dip past 60 degrees, people can be seen pulling out their sweaters, jackets, warm socks and…tissues.
That’s right: Whether you love the chillier weather or not, the drop in temperature brings an uptick in germs that cause cold and flu symptoms.
Steps to Stay Healthy this Winter
This winter, it’s important to take care of both your mental and physical health and well-being. Not only are the temperatures dropping, but the winter months are notoriously busier than most—with holidays, winter school breaks, family visits and the like. And, with the days becoming shorter and shorter, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stay healthy and active.
Here are a few steps and tips to stay healthy, whole and motivated this winter season. Choose one to focus on, or try to practice them all. What truly matters is the effort you put into it.
Focus on healthy carbs
Everyone always says you go into hibernation mode during the winter, right? If you find yourself craving denser, richer, more stick-to-your-ribs type of food, you’re not alone! With the colder, darker days, your body is naturally craving more serotonin, which can quickly be fixed by comfort foods like bread and sweets. Rather than reaching for those immediate fixes, though, instead start your day with a protein packed breakfast and snack on low-fat and healthy snacks throughout the day.
Choose immune-boosting foods
Did you know that there are several species of mushrooms that contain immune system-boosting properties? It’s because mushrooms have naturally occurring antibiotics and can help fight off colds and the flu. Other immune-boosting foods include: Citrus fruits, garlic, ginger, yogurt, spinach, almonds, turmeric, green tea and sunflower seeds.
Work out at home
Not only will exercising at home help you save on gym fees and memberships, but you will feel more motivated to get up and moving if you don’t have to brave the cold temperatures first. Whatever work out style is best for you, your schedule and your family—yoga, strength training, aerobics or simply running around with your kids—make sure you’re up and moving at least 30 minutes per day, or one hour 3 days a week.
Wash your hands frequently
Germs are everywhere. While many make arguments that germs are actually beneficial to building a healthy immune system (and that’s true!), cold and flu season gives us an extra amount of germs. And, while a healthy person can typically fight them off, the elderly, children or anyone with a more compromised immune system may not be able to. So it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day with soap and warm water.
Get plenty of sleep
As the days get shorter, your body will naturally begin to crave sleep more and will want to adjust its patterns to the hours of daylight. Always listen to what your body needs and, if you notice yourself getting sleepier earlier, then give your body the sleep that it’s craving.
Stay healthy and well this winter
Try to add these tips slowly throughout the winter so as to not overwhelm your schedule. As always, assess your own health and well-being during the winter and come visit us if you find yourself struggling to stay healthy.