If you are interested in staying healthy – that is, not gaining weight, keeping physically active and avoiding winter illnesses like the cold, flu or bronchitis – during the winter months, you’ve often got your work cut out for you. Shorter, colder days mean fewer sunlight hours for activities like walking, while the winter cuisine is generally heavier and more high-calorie and then, of course, there are the food-centered holidays to get through that start at the end of October and go to through until Valentine’s Day! Ah! If you are feeling frustrated, however, remember this five secrets for keeping yourself healthy and happy this winter.
Make Avoiding Illness a Priority
The colds, flus and bacterial infections that winter can bring with it make it a hard time of year – so make staying healthy your priority. There are many simple things you can do to achieve this. Frequent hand-washing, avoiding excessive contact with public places or people who you know are sick, and carrying hand sanitizer for the times when you can’t wash are all great ways to defend yourself. It also a good idea to keep your immunity strong with adequate sleep, hydration, a balanced diet and keeping active.
Okay, getting out to the local park to go for a morning walk is a lot less attractive when it’s really cold out! However, maintaining a regular exercise schedule even through the winter months is really important. It can help boost the immunity (see above) and also help you avoid packing on the extra pounds which is very easy to do this time of year! Regular exercise is also a great way to treat mild, seasonal depression.
Enjoy Healthy Winter Cuisine!
It doesn’t have to be all meat and potatoes for the next three or four months! Many healthy foods come into their own this time of year, from hearty root vegetables like beets or parsnips to citrus fruits and apples to winter squashes, all of which are rich in vitamins and minerals and really good for you. There are many healthy slow-cooker recipes which will gives you warm, stick-to-your-ribs stews and other dishes that still will make it easy to avoid packing on extra weight.
If you are really effected by short winter days, lighten up! That is, expose yourself to as much bright light as is readily available. When you get up in the morning, turn on the lights in the house, open up shades and pull back curtains to let the light in and if possible, exercise outside for at least part of the day to take advantage of what light there is. This can really help beat the winter blues.
Enjoy the Season
Snowstorms or being snowed it can be viewed as a real hassle, especially when you are an adult! However, if you do go through a spate of bad weather, even make this enjoyable: go out and take a walk in the snow, build a snowman with your kids, even have a snowball fight. You can also treat these snow days like a sort of staycation, to catch up on the reading or play board games with your family. So try this out these suggestions and make this coming winter the best one ever!
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