By Joanne Nancekivell
With the cooler temperatures upon us, we are faced with shorter days that are mostly spent indoors. Keeping energy levels up and maintaining a positive outlook will help you to not only survive, but thrive this winter.
Here are some tips on how to help you maintain a healthy glow this winter and get ready for a wonderful spring:
1. Keep moving
While it’s a little harder to find the motivation to exercise when it is cold outside, remember that keeping active during winter is essential to support our health and well-being. Moving your exercise indoors during winter will help to not only keep you warm but fit and healthy as well. Be sure to spend time warming up before you start your exercise as it can take a little longer for your joints to loosen up in the cold weather.
2. Eat well
As winter sets in, it can be tempting to start eating more of those warm comfort foods that are often high in fat, salt and sugar. Instead, find comfort in foods such as warming and nourishing soups and stews full of flavour and healthy vegetables. Be sure your diet includes winter fruit and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals such as sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, kiwi fruit, mandarins, bananas, garlic and ginger.
3. Sleep well
Proper sleep (about eight hours a night) can help keep the body’s immune system healthy and help you fight off colds. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes as these substances can affect the quality of your sleep. Regular, moderate exercise, relaxation techniques and establishing a regular sleep routine may help to promote improved sleep.
4. Manage stress
While stress is a part of everyday life, and some stress helps us to meet challenging situations, excessive amounts of stress may be linked to negative effects across a range of areas, including lowering our resistance to illness. Take some time from your busy schedule for a break – sit down, relax, put your feet up, do some deep breathing exercises, close your eyes and focus on the positive moments in your day. Giving yourself the opportunity to step outside of the busyness will help you to relieve your stress, give you a fresh perspective and help you face your day with a renewed outlook.
5. Stay hydrated
As the weather cools down and our thirst decreases, it is easy to forget to drink enough water. You still need to aim for about two litres per day during winter in order to keep your body hydrated and enable it to function well. If you find that plain water is not to your liking, try some naturally flavoured waters or hot herbal tea. There are so many flavours available now that you’re sure to find some you enjoy.
A final thought – be sure to take some time to connect with friends so that you don’t feel alone and isolated. Finding a regular time to socialize, either in person or over a phone call, will help maintain your overall health and well-being.
Take good care of yourselves and one another!
Joanne Nancekivell is a Social Worker at McCormick Home.