For many, winter is a time of being sick and sad more often than not. But what if you could stay healthy over winter by implementing a few simple habits? Here are my top tips for staying physically and mentally well over the winter season.
Simple ways to stay healthy over winter
Drink plenty of fluids
We often forget to stay hydrated during the colder months. But if you want to stay healthy over winter, this is the first place you need to start!
Why? Firstly, we have a greater need for hydration, thanks to the dry heat of heating systems. Water plays a critical role in wellbeing including in digestion, skin health, detoxification and energy production.
But it’s also important for preventing winter germs from sneaking in. The first lines of defence against infection rely on water – think the nose and lungs. If you’re not hydrated, it’s easier for germs to bypass these lines and get you sick.
Find you struggle to drink plain water in the colder months? I recommend finding a couple of herbal teas you really enjoy. You might like a mix of energising teas (with ingredients like ginseng), calming teas (with ingredients like chamomile) and of course immune support teas (look out for ingredients like elderberry and echinacea).
Get moving regularly
Another habit that often goes out the door when the temperature drops is physical activity. But there are countless reasons to move on a daily basis over the colder months. Just some of them include:
- Supporting a healthy metabolism
- Fending off seasonal depression symptoms
- Increasing lymphatic flow (supporting immune function)
- Boosting your mood and motivation levels
- Preventing premature ageing (ok, this is a year-round benefit!)
So find a way to move that you enjoy. That way, you’ll find it easier to stick to even when it’s cold, wet and miserable outside!
Wash your hands
Yes, I know you’ve heard this a million times over the past few years. But washing your hands with plain old soap and water can help to fend off the germs you’re exposed to throughout the day.
My rule of thumb is to wash my hands whenever I come home. That way, I won’t be spreading any unwanted germs around the house or exposing my loved ones to them!
Soak up the daylight
One of the key reasons that we are prone to physical and mental woes over winter is the lack of daylight. As it’s cold outside, we prefer huddling up inside and staying warm. But we want to make sure you get some daylight exposure every single day to keep you healthy.
This has both physical and mental benefits. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a dose of vitamin D from sunlight exposure during winter. And as we know, vitamin D is a must for a healthy immune system! But daylight also helps to regulate our circadian rhythm and boost feel-good brain chemicals.
Aim for at least 10 minutes outside each day. Expose whatever skin you can without getting too chilly!
Embrace seasonal ingredients
There is a reason why seasonal ingredients are available when they are. You’ll find the nutrients you need to maintain your health over winter packed into seasonal foods!
For example, citrus fruits give you a great dose of vitamin C and antioxidants that combat germs. Root vegetables are full of fibre that allow you to enjoy some comforting carbohydrates without setting your blood sugar soaring. Brassica veggies have potent anti-inflammatory compounds that protect your heart and prevent premature ageing.
So load up on the seasonal options. If you can pick them up direct from a farmers market, that’s even better!
Consider a supportive supplement
If you’re already depleted, deficient or run-down, it can be tough to stay on top of everything. That’s where a supplement may help to bridge the gaps and help you to recover quickly.
It’s no surprise that my go-to all-rounder supplement is Energy Glow NR – you can learn more about its benefits here.
Want to be healthier and happier all year around?
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Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath
Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
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