Although the images of snowy Christmas days and memories of family time by the fireplace may give someone good ideas of winter, this season can be harsh and difficult at the same time. Not only does the cold make more people sick, but the long dark nights can also hit one mentally and emotionally.
Actually, there are many ways to staying healthy during winter. After all, millions of people have survived for centuries, way before things like centralized heating became commonplace. What more, these steps are not complicated at all:
Keep your Vitamin D levels high without pills and sunlight
Maintaining your levels of this very important vitamin is important for your heart, skin, immune system and your mental well-being too. What few people know is that there are many ways to make sure you have enough, without resorting to taking supplements or even when the days are short and gloomy. For example, just losing 5% of your body weight will make your Vitamin D values go up. At the same time, lowering cholesterol and having more exercise help, as well as adding fatty fish like wild salmon to your diet.
Get the yearly flu shot
Lots of people are scared of the so-called side effects of getting the shot. However, the statistics should convince you; in the United States alone, 36,000 people die due to complications from having the flu, and 200,000 end up in the hospital. By protecting yourself, you also end up not passing it on to your family members, colleagues and everyone you interact with on a daily basis.
Keep drinking water
The cold might make you feel not thirsty but even in this time, your body will still need the minimum of 2 liters a day. A good way to make it is to take some tea instead of plain water, so that you also stay warm at the same time.
Another impulse during winter is to just stay under the covers. The cold will make most too lazy to going for that usual run or even just a simple walk. Fortunately, there are ways to continue being active indoors, either by hitting that gym or going for some indoor sport when it’s snowing outdoors. Just make sure to warm up before any activity as your joints might need a bit more time to loosen up when the temperatures are lower.
Stock up on the winter vegetables and fruits
Thankfully, there are nutritious and delicious veggies that are available during the season. What better way to nourish yourself than making a wonderful stew or soup perfect for those cold night times? Partner that with some winter fruit and you hit all your daily needs. Of course, this strengthens your immune system simultaneously, making it easier for you to fight off those viral and bacterial infections going around.
Watch your weight
The holiday season might tempt you to eat more than usual, and comfort foods are just perfect while cuddled up on the couch. But piling on those extra kilos will be unhealthy for you, regardless of the time of the year. So keep watching those calories, and continue exercising to limit the weight gain.
Don’t let your skin get too dry
The cold air can make your skin dry, itchy and lead to eczema. Staying indoors where there is heating reduces the humidity of the air too, and along with a lesser water intake, you might start to see your skin turning flaky. This can be addressed by moisturizing every day. At the same time, maintaining your Vitamin E levels or consuming garlic will help keep good blood circulation and distribution of nutrients to your largest organ.
Ever suffered from cold fingers and toes especially when it’s single digit temperatures outside? Hands and feet are the biggest victims of the cold because they are farthest from the heart and from the blood circulating through the body and bringing warmth. To make sure that this is improved, watch out for your Vitamin E and Gingko intake, and feel them thanking you in the middle of winter.
Avoid the blues
You should also take care of your emotional and mental state, not just the physical. It has been proven that the lesser hours of sunlight cause depression to some individuals. This is attributed as well to most people becoming less social at this time, preferring instead to stay at home. In fact, this is what you should avoid doing. Joining a class, going for some other activities, or participating in team sports can give you contact with other people, especially when you live alone.
Winter time is still magical for most, especially when you wake up to snow-covered houses and celebrate Christmas with holiday cookies. By staying healthy during this time, you can go out and enjoy your favorite adventures like ice skating or skiing. Thankfully, there are no secrets to making that happen, so just follow these steps and learn to love the coldest season of the year!