Although the long winter months can leave us wanting to stay in bed instead of going for a run or craving a sweet, foamy hot chocolate instead of water, the winter is a great time to improve your health. Here are our top ten favorite health tips to stay fit this winter.
1. Start Your Day With Some Hot Tea
There is something magical about curling up under a blanket with a warm drink when it’s cold outside. During the winter, you can start your morning with some hot herbal tea. Many herbs have great health qualities, such as boosting your immune system or aiding digestion. Try pouring hot water over a lemon slice and adding a pinch of ginger for a delicious, healthy and warming drink.
2. Use A Home Gym
If the thought of slipping on ice while on a run in the bleakness of winter doesn’t appeal to you, using a home gym can be a useful alternative. With the advent of the Internet, there are thousands of apartment-friendly, no equipment required workouts available for free online. Try HIIT for some great cardio, or try ballet barres for a relaxing workout.
3. Don’t Neglect Medical Care
Every year in the U.S there are roughly 22 million surgeries performed. The cold winter weather weakens your immune system, making recovery slower and making you more susceptible to viruses. If you have a surgery or medical condition, make sure to prioritize aftercare. The experts at La Peer Health Systems suggest finding a great ambulatory care facility near you.
4. Take Your Vitamins
During the summer months, there is an abundance of fruit and vegetables in season to pick from, but this changes during the winter months. It can be harder to find nutritious, colorful food. Make sure to pick up multivitamins to protect your health. Some common vitamin deficiencies people experience include vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.
5. Prioritize Your Sleep
The vast majority of adults in the West do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, which has negative repercussions for cognitive health, physical health, and mental/emotional health. Luckily, in the winter it gets dark earlier, making winter the perfect opportunity to improve the quality of your sleep!
6. Stay Connected
For people without lots of family, the winter season with all the holidays can be lonely. Loneliness is bad for stress levels and increases the likelihood of heart disease. During the winter, be intentional about spending time with loved ones. Staying connected with the people around you is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
7. Wash Your Hands
Nothing puts a damper on your winter like the sniffles or a lingering cough. Protect your immune system by washing your hands more frequently than you’re used to and always carry hand sanitizer.
8. Pick Up A Winter Sport
Life is richer with more diversity, and the same holds true for our activities. Although your favorite sport might not be possible in the cold and snow, you can always break out and try a new sport. From skiing to ice hockey- there is a whole world of sports specifically designed for the winter! Try one, or try them all- your body will thank you.
9. Get A Massage
The cold works its way into your very bones. The downside is that when your muscles are constantly cold, they become tighter and more likely to be damaged. Go treat yourself to a nice massage to work out the tightness and leave you more mobile and relaxed.
Seasonal depression is a common thing for people – it can feel hard to feel positive when it’s constantly dark or cold. The simple act of smiling helps you feel more positive without lifting a finger. Taking some time to smile at the world and see its beauty does wonders for your mental health.
Being healthy in the winter does not need to be hard if you put a bit of thought into it.
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