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Ways To Stay Healthy During The Winter
Now that winter is on the way and the temperature is gradually approaching the negatives, staying healthy becomes a top priority for all of us. While seasonal illnesses are not primarily related to the temperatures outside, there are a number of wintertime factors that can weaken our immune response, making it harder for the body to fight off infections.
To help you stay healthy during the winter, we have compiled some tips to help maintain your health during the colder months of the year. But always remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical one so don’t neglect it!
- Keep doing physical activity
Though the short days and cold weather may tempt you to stay cuddled up in bed, it’s important that you keep exercising regularly. The benefits it can bring to your physical and mental health are just too good to ignore!
You don’t even have to go out and do outdoor activities like running if you don’t fancy the cold and wet weather, you can just sign up to a gym or develop an indoor training plan.
Or even better you could join some fun indoor activities that will get you fit in no time such as dance lessons, indoor rock climbing or even a martial arts course! You’re never too old to begin something new after all!
Don't want to miss your favourite show? Try jogging or hopping on the spot or even just stretching while you watch. Try getting active by gardening, cleaning, washing your pets or dancing. Have fun getting healthy in the comfort of your warm home. Use a fitness tracker to make sure you are keeping your steps in count. Set a goal to achieve the same number of steps you would complete over the summer months.
- Stay warm
This one is equally as important as it is obvious: pull out your warm and cosy winter clothes!
If you find yourself shivering endlessly beneath the beating force of winter’s frigid winds or soaking wet after a cold shower of rain, then you really ought to invest in a nice coat, a pair of gloves and a scarf, along with an umbrella or a raincoat.
We also recommend plenty of hot drinks and at least one hot meal to stave off the cold during the day. Black and green tea are rich in polyphenols, some of which are called flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects.
Studies have shown that people who drink tea regularly, have healthier blood and lower the risk of heart diseases. Of course, many people drink tea to stay healthy but you need to eat healthy as well like green vegetables and fruits.
Nobody enjoys being cold or wet and avoiding that fate is sure to improve both your mood and your health while you go about your daily routine like walking the dog or going to work.
- Stay hydrated
Warm weather is commonly associated with thirst as the scorching sun makes us feel dehydrated but it’s equally as important to stay hydrated during cold weather as well. Water helps to clean our system and remove toxins, carry nutrients to the body cells and helps balance body fluid.
Try to keep a bottle of water in sight at all times to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day. Also remember that semi-liquid foods such as soups and cuppas can help you increase your fluid intake as well but is not a replacement!
On a similar note, remember to keep moisturising and use a lip balm to protect your lips from the cold. It’s a good idea to carry moisturizing lotion with you as it’s common for our hands to get dry and cracked when it’s colder. As mentioned earlier, staying hydrated will also help you protect your skin during winter.
- Avoid drinking too heavily
Though unpopular, the truth is that alcohol can have severe collateral effects on our health. It can damage our sleep patterns, mood and energy levels thus increasing our stress and tiredness. Alcohol can also do serious long term damage such as increasing the likelihood of strokes, high blood pressure and heart and liver diseases.
Obviously quitting alcohol is the best option but merely reducing the amount you drink will have benefits for you, both in the moment and later on in life.
Another vice we would suggest you quit is smoking as it makes individuals more susceptible towards respiratory infections in winter along with several others long and short term health problems.
- Sleep well
Although it may seem like a contradiction of our first suggestion we recommend getting plenty of sleep at night, especially if you’re following our first point as it will allow your muscles to recover.
Winter months is the perfect time to catch up on your sleep. An average adult requires 7-8 hours’ of sleep each day. During winter days, you can change your sleep patterns to keep yourself healthy and warm.
A good amount of sleep helps to keep the body's immune system healthy, eliminates stress hormone cortisol and burns calories.
Speaking of stress, studies have linked high stress levels to making a person more susceptible to catching colds and flu. Try to minimize your stress by working reasonable hours and use your spare time to alone or with friends and family. Develop healthy habits and avoid stress!
Sleep is a non-negotiable factor for maintaining both your physical and mental health.
- Be hygienic
Obviously we have all had to learn more about hygiene in recent times due to the spread of Covid 19 and the subsequent lockdowns but that doesn’t diminish its importance. Not only does it help protect from the Corona virus but it will also help stop the spread of colds and the flu.
So it’s extremely important that you follow these instructions:
- wash your hands regularly and especially before preparing or eating food
- sneeze and cough into a tissue or your elbow
- immediately throw dirty tissues into a bin
- avoid sharing cups and cutlery to prevent the circulation of saliva
- if you feel sick stay at home and try not to infect others.
When we touch surfaces that are unhygienic, we will transfer viruses and bacteria onto ourselves. Touching our face with contaminated hands leads to germs entering the body and causing illnesses.
Washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face decreases your chance of getting sick. It’s best to clean your hands with soap and water, especially if your hands are visibly dirty. Hand sanitizer helps reduce the number of germs and can be your best buddy when there is no water or soap.
Dr. Bronner’s Hand Hygiene Spray kills germs with a simple formula: organic ethyl alcohol, water, organic lavender oil, and organic glycerin - that's it!
- Eat healthy foods
Make sure you eat a wide variety of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, the more variations, the more vitamins and minerals you will consume. Pay particularly attention to getting enough:
- vitamin B
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
If you’re low on any of these, you may be more susceptible to winter illnesses. All the vitamins and supplements (and more) are present on our website.
We recommend Coyne Healthcare vitamins and supplements as they are prepared with the best quality and liposomal technology.
- Get plenty of vitamin D
Because of the cold weather we obviously tend to spend less time outside, that coupled with shorter and cloudier days means we get a lot less sunlight on our skin, which leads to a smaller production of vitamin D, a crucial component for both bone and general health.
So you better get out and start collecting vitamin D then! Plan yourself a route and go jogging or cycling or whatever outdoor activity you feel like doing!
Not only will this bring you the afore mentioned physical benefits, it will also be a great morale boost for when you’ve been locked up inside all day long.
But sometimes with the cold breeze and Ireland’s unpredictable weather, we need a Vitamin D supplement to substitute the sunlight. Better You Vitamin D oral sprays are fast and effective and supports bones, teeth and a healthy immune system
- Check up your health regularly
Your winter season precautions must include keeping a check on your health conditions by opting for regular health check-ups.
In fact, cold weather triggers health problems like asthma, flu, sore throat, painful joints and an increased risk of heart attacks as low temperatures make your blood pressure rise and puts more pressure on your heart.
Not only should you make time for annual wellness checks, but you should also remember to get your regular health screenings. For example, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month to remind women to have a yearly screening.
Even though we get busy around the holidays, it’s worth taking the time to have routine wellness exams.