Winter is almost upon us as the temperature begins to drop and the festivities are starting to creep in. It’s hard stay well this winter and maintain a healthy lifestyle when bacteria and colds test our immune system. Our diet descends into a festive chaos as our exercise levels decrease with the daylight time. Here we go through 5 easy steps to beat the winter blues and keep you healthy.
Keep it Colourful this Winter
To keep your body in check you want to keep your diet full of vibrant fruit and vegetables as a source of rich nutrition. Winter seasonal vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, carrots and leeks make a great winter warming casserole. Stock up on the seasonal citrus fruits that provide your body with several different antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre.
Fill up on the Fluids
Many people tend to lower their drinking intake as the days get colder. It is recommended men drink 2.5 litres of water a day and women 2 litres of water via food and drink consumption. Leaving your body dehydrated leaves it vulnerable to viruses and bad bacteria. A good way to hydrate in the winter months is through teas and warm drinks. Green tea is especially hydrating with immune boosting antioxidants, add some fresh lemon for that added vitamin C boost!
Make the most of the Light
It’s difficult to bask in sun during the darker months, especially when the sun is out when majority of people are inside working. This can cause mood disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. Sunshine boosts your serotonin levels – the body’s happy hormone. To try and stave off the lower moods try combining your exercise routine outdoors. It has been proven that exercising outside rises your endorphins than indoor exercise. Alongside this it allows you make the most of the sun and to top up your vitamin D during the darker months.
Keep your Sleep routine in check
This can be difficult as the body and mind associate darkness with bed time. It’s good to keep yourself in a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time. Sleep hygiene is important, avoid electrical items with the dreaded blue light to help your sleep with ease. Its suggested to keep your room around 18°C (65°F) and keep your windows closed as breathing in cold air increases your risk of chest infections.
Medicine and hygiene
With the increase in bad bacteria and viruses, help protect yourself and others by keeping a steady hygiene regime. Frequently wash your hands and teach your children to do the same, this will help avoid spreading any germs. With the flu virus circling its best to check if you are eligible for a free flu vaccination. Young children, elderly and high risk patients should always schedule a flu vaccine in preparation for the winter months. Finally, check your medicine cabinet for the essentials to help get you through the winter.
If you have any medical questions its best to check with your pharmacist the best approach to stay well this winter.