During the winter months, we are more likely to do less, yet we feel more stressed than during any other time of the year. We find comfort in fatty foods, avoid the attendance of any social gatherings and “forget” to exercise. Sadly, in winter our bodies do not get sufficient levels of serotonin, because we don’t get enough natural light and that can surely make us feel depressed.
The good news is there are ways and methods that you can apply to maintain good health throughout the winter.
Get Your Dose of Vitamin D
The sun is a natural source of Vitamin D, but the grey months of winter may leave you lacking. You do not only need Vitamin D to maintain strong, healthy bones, but it has also been proven to prolong your life. Recent tests have indicated that vitamin D could decrease your risk of getting diseases, such as colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer.
To ensure you get your daily dose, you can add foods to your diet, such as oily fish – including sardines and salmon, or food that is vitamin D fortified, including orange juice and milk. However, you will not get your full requirement of vitamin D from these foods alone. It is therefore advised that a supplement of at least 1000 units per day is taken.
Avoid Extra Weight Gain
Between Christmas and New Year, it is estimated that we gain at least one pound in weight. But, even one pound can lead to lifelong health problems. It is almost impossible to avoid fatty foods, sweets or alcoholic beverages during the festive season, but it is wise to have a plan whereby you can possibly reduce your intake of unnecessary calories.
Before you fill your plate, look through the available foods and choose wisely. It may be a festive season, but you can still apply the rules related to healthy foods. If possible, keep to a lightly-dressed green salad and white turkey meat that is lower in fat. Also ensure that you maintain your daily intake of water.
Exercise – Even When Stuck at Home
Staying active is just as important as eating healthy foods. Try to incorporate a daily walk of 30 minutes; even on very cold days. When it is absolutely impossible to hit the sidewalk, you should seek alternative methods to get your blood surging.
You are never too busy to do a few exercises in your home. Even when you are watching television and there is an ad break, you can take those three minutes to do some light stretching exercises.
Invest in a Humidifier
Humidity drops as soon as the temperature drops. Artificial indoor heat ultimately dries out the air and cause sore throats, dry skin, nose bleeds and sinus problems. In order to replace the absent humidity, you can invest in a humidifier. The downside to a humidifier is that it has to be kept clean at all times, as it can otherwise spread bacteria. Clean your humidifier at least once a week and reap its full health benefits during winter.
Visit Your GP
If you are a little older, have young people in your life or have existing health concerns, it may be worth popping into visit your GP to request some additional advice. This could involve supplements, exercise or other lifestyle changes.