1. Stay hydrated
Don’t forget to keep drinking water! 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/day of water during winter as it is essential for our body to function. If you struggle with plain water (like we do sometimes) try herbal tea. There are so many flavours available now that you’re sure to find some you enjoy.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Maintaining a good healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimal amounts of organic meats is another way to keep your body clean and in good working order. Try eating an extra piece of fruit or veggie every day too!
3. Skin health
The cold weather can affect our skin and contribute to conditions such as dry, itchy skin, chill blains and eczema. This may be due to the reduced humidity, drinking less water than you would during summer or possibly due to reduced circulation which may decrease the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin. Using moisturisers daily may help to keep the skin moist and supple whilst supplements containing vitamin E or garlic help assist blood circulation. If any of your family suffers psoriasis or eczema, try taking fish oils.
4. 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 wellbeing. Moving your exercise indoors during winter will help to keep you warm as well as fit and healthy. 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.
5. Wash your hands regularly
Keep the bacteria and viruses off your hands and out of your mouth and eyes. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close-by for those instances where you can’t get to soap and water.
6. Don’t smoke
Most of you already know this, but it bears repeating because smoking significantly weakens your immune system. If you want to quit and have tried everything else, let me know. I have some nutritional recommendations that can help you quit!
7. Eliminate all forms of sugar
This includes not only the obvious kinds (cake, cookies and sweets, in general), but bread, pasta, rice, yogurt and commercial, store-bought fruit juices. Although all of these things are made with different types of sugars, your body still converts them to sugar, which will compromise your immune system.
8. Weight management
Ditching the exercise as well as the salads during winter can often lead to weight gain. While it may only be a small weight gain, it begins to add up as you get more and more winters under your belt! Although it’s tempting to hide behind those bulky winter clothes, by sticking to your healthy diet and exercise routine all year round, you’ll be much healthier in the long run and won’t dread the next swimming season with the kids!
9. Sleeping well
Proper sleep (eight hours for an adult) can help keep the body’s immune system healthy and 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.
During winter our hands and feet can often feel cold. Our hands and feet are at the extremities of our bodies which means they are the furthest from the heart which is pumping blood around our body to help keep us warm. Vitamin E and the herb Ginkgo help to support peripheral blood circulation, thereby alleviating cold hands and feet. Keep moving with gentle exercise to help improve circulation to the extremities of the body and don’t forget your socks and gloves! If you can’t seem to keep your hands warm (and it’s not bothering you excessively) take solace in the old saying “Cold hands, warm heart”!