I’m always shocked when I hear someone say that they stay sick all Winter! Why? There are steps that you can take to help yourself stay healthy this Winter.
Cold temperatures tend to make us crave carbohydrates due to low light levels affecting our serotonin levels. Carbohydrates naturally boost serotonin so when it’s depleted, strong carb cravings set in, especially if we’re hungry and run down. To offset some of these cravings, eat a good high protein breakfast and have healthy snacks available throughout the day. Cravings are much less intense when we are satiated.
Make sure to get some Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your diet. They tend to help reduce joint pain and stiffness associated with cold weather. If you have less pain you are more likely to continue working out and be more fit. Omega-3’s are also known to help with depression which is more common during Winter months. Depression can curtail your work out which is a shame because working out is known to decrease depression in some people. That is not to say that any of these will prevent or cure major depression. That is a subject to be taken up with your doctor, but these habits can help with simple Winter doldrums.
Mushrooms and spices help boost immunity. Try different varieties of mushrooms in recipes and reap the benefits of naturally-occurring antibiotic-like substances found in all types of mushrooms. Liven up your regular recipes with garlic, ginger, cilantro and other tasty spices that can help you sail through Winter with better health. Eat green and orange veggies to help ensure that you’re getting a good variety of nutrients.
Stick to your regular workout schedule. Don’t let Holidays and family and friends hinder you. Exercise helps balance your hormones and helps keep your body running more smoothly during stressful times. You might want to investigate ways to work out at home so that the cold weather doesn’t keep you from working out. There are videos and all kinds of home gym equipment that can help you keep your fitness commitment.
Get your vehicle inspected for safety and winterize your ride. Don’t get caught out in freezing weather in a stalled out car. Your life may depend on the safety of your vehicle during cold Winter months.
Be safe about your decorations during the Holidays. Open flames of candles cause many house fires every year. Decorations with lights get very hot if they are left on. Be sure to unplug all Holiday decorations when they are left unattended. Be sure to mind your fireplace and keep it safe. Keep your chimney clean because creosote fires are common in the Winter and they will burn your house to the ground. Make sure that you have CO detectors and smoke detectors installed and working with good hot batteries. Never just remove a battery to make the unit quit beeping.
Install handrails and use ice melt on your frozen sidewalks and other walkways. If you fall you may not only stop your fitness program, you may be in the hospital until Spring!
Wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your face. Transferring a microbe to your eyes while shopping could give you a preventable upper respiratory infection. Use some common sense.
Get your rest. Sleep helps support your immune system. During the Holidays stress can take an extra toll on your overall health. Replenish with quality rest. If you are a strength trainer, rest is always imperative.
Always stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps flush trouble making bacteria out of your body.
With minimal effort you can navigate this time of year safely and in good health. Take care of yourself and enjoy this Season with no down time and great the Spring with an increased level of health and fitness.