Thursday, December 17, 2020

4 Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter is just around the corner, and depending on where you live, you could be in for everything from freezing temperatures to long, frigid snowstorms. While winter can be beautiful and peaceful, it’s incredibly important to keep yourself safe and healthy all season long. 

This year, it’s especially important to focus on your health. With the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering in different parts of the world, keeping your body strong and healthy will make it easier for you to fight off anything from the common cold to more serious viruses. 


Most people know the basics of taking care of themselves and doing what’s right for their body. But, it never hurts to be reminded of some tips you may have forgotten about. 


With that in mind, let’s go over four ways to stay healthy this winter that you should start putting into practice right away. 


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1. Manage Your Diet


Eating healthy is one of the best ways to keep your body in top shape. Winter is notorious for making people crave heavy, carbohydrate-laden foods. You may tend to seek out “comfort foods” during the colder months in an effort to feel happier during the short, dreary days. 


Unfortunately, once you give into those “carb cravings”, they tend to become even worse. That can lead to weight gain, fatigue, a lack of energy, and it may even have mental health effects, like depression. 


Instead, try to focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. You’ll have more energy throughout the day and by feeling more productive, you can actually improve your mood, too. 


2. Get Enough Sleep


Depending on where you live, the days may be shorter in winter. You might think that would make it easier to get more sleep, but that simply isn’t the case for everyone. For some people, the fact that it gets dark earlier in the day can throw off their natural circadian rhythm. 


In order to combat this, try to have a nightly routine that gets you in the right mindset to sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and wake up at the same time each morning. By “training” your body into knowing it’s time to sleep, you’ll have an easier time with it. 


3. Protect Yourself From Head to Toe


Winter can lead to dangerous temperatures in certain parts of the world. So, if you have to be outside, make sure you’re protected from the elements. It doesn’t take long to develop frostbite, or for extreme temperatures to damage different parts of your body. Cold temperatures can even cause damage to your ears if they aren’t protected, so some people wear ear muffs or ear plugs - which is better? It depends on how long you plan on being outside. 


4. Stay Active


You might be tempted to curl up inside all winter and stay on the couch. While that might keep you warm, it’s not the best thing you can do for your health. By staying active, you can boost your mood and energy levels, and boost your immune system while you’re at it. 


You don’t need to go outside in order to get enough exercise. In fact, you don’t even need to go to a gym. You can stay active indoors by doing yoga, using something like a treadmill or exercise bike, or following one of the thousands of available workout videos online that you can do from the comfort of your living room. 


Bonus - Practice Proper Hygiene!


Did you know that in the 2019-2020 flu season, over 38 million people in the U.S. alone were diagnosed with the flu? While everyone may be talking about the COVID-19 virus this year, its existence doesn’t mean that other common illnesses have gone away. You could still catch a variety of things if you’re not frequently practicing good hygiene. 


Make sure you wash your hands as often as possible. If you can’t frequently get to a sink, carry hand sanitizer with you and use it throughout the day. 


It’s also a good idea to avoid large gatherings as much as possible, especially if you’re at a higher risk of getting sick (with a weakened immune system). 


By keeping these tips in mind, you can keep yourself healthy this winter, and set a good example for your family, as well. When you know you’re doing whatever you can to promote positive health, you can actually enjoy the beauty of the season, rather than worrying about how it might negatively impact you. 

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