Winter can be a beautiful season. The air takes on that cool, crisp quality and for some areas the snow makes everything look clean and white. Winter brings Christmas, New Years, and even Valentine’s Day in some places. Unfortunately, it also brings dry air, cold and flu season, and a dramatic drop in outdoor time for most people. It can be more difficult to stay healthy in the winter, but it is by no means impossible. Here are some tips to help you feel good when the cold weather hits:
The first thing to remember is that the habits that keep you healthy when the sun is shining will also help during colder weather. No matter what time of year it is, be sure to drink lots of water. This can be beneficial for many reasons. When the temperatures drop outside we use heaters to keep warm. This tends to dry out the air in our homes and offices, which in turn dries out our skin and can cause respiratory problems, dehydration, and eye or skin irritation.
Drinking water throughout the day can combat these uncomfortable conditions. In fact, according to healthline.com we should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This makes sense when you remember that our bodies are 60% water. And did you know that drinking enough water can actually strengthen your immune system? Which leads to the next point…
Keep your immune system strong! Winter is known as cold and flu season. This is for many reasons. In the winter we tend to stay inside more and keep windows and doors closed. This keeps the cold air out, but it also keeps the germs and viruses in. And it turns out that the flu virus actually likes cold, dry air.
So what can be done about it? In addition to drinking lots of water, it is important to get enough sleep. While sufficient sleep is key year round, it is even more important in the winter. “Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.”
What you eat can also play a large role in your overall health. When it is cold outside we tend to turn to comfort foods. This is fine in moderation, but remember to keep eating fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid sugar. Sugary foods increase the likelihood of catching whatever germ or virus is going around.
And of course, don’t forget to disinfect surfaces regularly.
Give yourself a boost with whole food supplements (not synthetic!) that will help your body maintain peak performance despite the challenges the winter months bring. Since most of us tend to stay indoors between November and February, it can be hard to get enough sun exposure to produce sufficient vitamin D, which is needed to maintain healthy bones. It is a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement until you can get back out there to soak up some rays.
In addition to this, it is wise to start taking adaptogens. Adaptogens are Mother Nature’s gift to us. They are extracts from plants that typically grow in alpine regions in Russia. They are specially adapted to fill in where your body’s natural functions have been thrown out of balance. They establish and maintain homeostasis (think: natural internal balance) and help your body adapt to all sorts of internal and external stressors. This comes in quite handy in the winter months (and any time of the year!)
So this winter, follow these simple tips to help your body thrive and make the best of the cold weather until spring comes again!