Tips to stay Happy and Healthy this Winter

With winter and the cold weather fast approaching, it’s important to take care of yourself. Stay healthy and happy with some of our winter warmer tips

Food – while it’s important to get proper nutrients all year round, it’s particularly important in winter because the cold weather affects peoples immune system and causes people to get sick more easily. This winter, stave off the cold or flu by eating well. Try these;

High (soluble) fibre foods – they boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation, think apples, oats and nuts

Omega 3 fatty acids – with natural anti-inflammatory properties, they help lower depression and stiffness, think fish, plant seeds and nuts

Spice –  while they make food taste better they’re also great for fighting inflammation, heart disease, improving immune function, helping blocked sinuses and are full of antioxidants, spice up your food this winter and think garlic, chilli, ginger and coriander.

Mushrooms – they’re full of natural antibiotics, think shitake and white button mushrooms

Exercise – even in the cold and the dark it’s important to get out and get your daily exercise in. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise every week (30 minutes 5 days a week).

Sunshine – try to get out and about when the sun is up, it’s important to get your dose of vitamin D during the winter as this helps the body to absorb other vitamins such as vitamin A, iron and calcium. Get out for a walk on the weekends when the weather permits, the cold weather will encourage brisk walking and you’ll warm up in no time.

Plan in advance – we all know how hard it is to get out and exercise during winter so make a plan in advance of your exercise regime for each week, note down the time, place and the exercise to encourage you to stick to your program.

Find a friend – Exercise is always easier with someone, so pick a time and a date and meet up with a friend to exercise together. It could be a brisk walk together or even just going to the same gym at the same time.

Stay indoors – If you really hate the cold and can think of nothing worse than going out and having to exercise, try exercising indoors. You could take a spin class or do yoga from home, or even try a Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect to stay active with friends and have fun while doing so.

Mental health – with the darker, shorter days, it’s easy for people to feel depressed. And with the busy holiday period, it’s easy for people to feel anxious or stressed. Make sure to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health this winter.

Practice mindfulness – when you need a break, try deep breathing exercises or meditation to help you manage your wellbeing. Stress, anxiety and depression are all common during the winter months, so be aware of yourself.

Stay social – people can feel very lonely during this time, so remember to make time for friends and family this winter. Meet a friend for a walk or a coffee, have dinner or games night with your family and stay connected with them.

Take time for you – try to be aware of your mental wellbeing during the winter months and take a break when you need it. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try sitting in a dark quiet room, relaxing your muscles and clearing your head. A hot bath, steam rooms and saunas are also good for helping relieve muscle tension which can help reduce stress.

General Health – Last but not least, some general health tips to keep you in top form throughout winter.

Wash your hands – It seems obvious but this will help prevent you from picking up or passing on germs and staying healthy.

Wrap up – make sure to stay warm and wrap up whenever you’re going outside, hats, scarves and gloves are your best friends this winter.

Get enough sleep – make sure that you’re getting enough sleep every night. Putting your phone away 30 minutes before you’re going to bed and reading a book both help you to switch off and fall asleep faster.

Hydrate – it’s very important during the winter months to drink plenty of water to prevent sickness and also maintain moisture when it’s cold out.

 

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