Every season has its caveats. Unfortunately, winter is the most common time of year for illness and poor health to manifest. While this phenomenon is influenced by many different variables, there is no reason to let your immune system fail you with these tips to keep your health at its finest all season long.
Drink lots of hot tea.
- Caffeine-free hot tea mixed with lemon is a better choice for your go-to morning hydration than sugary orange juice or caffeinated choices like coffee.
- Avoid adding sugar, as it can actually act against your health if your body is already fighting off a bug.
- Bonus: Hot tea clears nasal passageways to prevent your stuffy nose from running, and with so many different kinds on the market, you’ll have no problem finding one (or a few kinds!) that you love.
Stick to a strict sleep/wake schedule.
- Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) to get your body in tune with your natural circadian rhythm.
- Adults typically need 8 hours of shut-eye each night to keep the body’s systems in check, allow time for your muscles to repair, allow your immune system to fight off foreign bodies, and revitalize your mental and physical energy for the next day.
- If you practice the “art” of napping, fine-tune those skills— At 10-15 minutes, “cat naps” are the best for boosting energy, and they won’t mess up your sleep cycle.
Maintain a healthy diet.
- While it’s tempting to divert to comfort foods during these dark, cold days, choose a balanced diet with adequate fruit and vegetable content is a winter must for all meals.
- Pro tip: Fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult to find throughout the winter, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without. Frozen fruits and vegetables can pack just as much (and sometimes more) nutritional benefit as their fresh counterparts.
- Opt for hearty soups and stews: bone broths, vegetables, a grain such as brown rice or quinoa, legumes, and a protein— one bowl can give you the comforting feeling you’re seeking and provide plenty of vitamins and nutrients.
Stick to your workout routine.
- Winter is not the time to let your exercise fall to the wayside. In fact, it’s even more necessary, especially in areas of the country that are further north that may see a spike in seasonal depression.
- Regular exercise boosts energy and your mood, aids in keeping a regular sleep cycle (and sleep quality!), and keeps your blood flowing better to keep your fingers and toes from getting chilly the way they do in the winter!
- Bonus, now through January 7th 2017, GYMGUYZ is running some pretty awesome New Year’s specials to help kickstart your fitness goals!
Keep a clean home.
In the winter, most regions find themselves bundling up not only their bodies, but their homes. With windows constantly locked, heat cranked, and more time spent indoors, it only makes sense that viruses and bacteria flourish inside throughout the winter— a major factor in the rapid spread of sickness throughout the season.
- Opt for natural cleaners and take care to wipe down surfaces of your home regularly— and don’t forget the doorknobs. Change bed sheets often, and if you get the opportunity, open up the windows for 30 minutes or so, just to get fresh, crisp air into the home and circulating.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands— both for your own health and for the sake of others.
Moisturize and hydrate.
- To help heal dry skin and seal in moisture, use lotions and moisturizers regularly. Rather than licking your lips when they’re dry (which actually dries them out and expedites chapping), use lip balms.
- Drink plenty of healthy, sugar-free fluids. Just because you’re not sweating doesn’t mean your body doesn’t’ need the hydration— it’s imperative to drink plenty of water, tea, and other fluids to flush out the bad and keep the good stuff flowing throughout your body.