It’s easy to get thrown off your regular routine during the winter. As the busy holiday season approaches, the temperature plummets, and the sun goes down, so does the motivation to make healthy choices. This opens up a window of opportunity for illnesses, injuries, and negative mood shifts.
The key to staying healthy and feeling your best during the cold months is finding a balance. Enjoy all the season has to offer, but try your best to implement just as many beneficial habits too.
Texarkana Emergency Center encourages you to fight the urge to hibernate and be intentional this winter in making your physical and mental health a priority.
1. Wash your hands
One of the easiest ways to prevent illness in the winter is to wash your hands. Remember to wash them when they’re dirty, after using the restroom, before cooking and eating, and after touching public surfaces. To ensure you’re truly killing the germs on your hands, follow the 5-step guideline: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.
2. Eat your way to health
During the colder months, we tend to crave warm comfort food. Too many sugary and carb-loaded foods can spike your serotonin levels and then make you feel worse after eating it. Balance out your diet with foods that can keep serotonin levels boosted like nuts, cheeses, and eggs. To get vitamin C and Omega 3 fatty acids, add in foods like salmon, oranges, chia seeds, and broccoli. And for immune system support, try including mushrooms, spinach, ginger, and garlic to your meals. Eating a balanced diet full of nutrient-rich ingredients like these can help you feel your best and fight off the cravings colder temperatures can bring.
3. Drink tea
If you’re in the mood for a hot drink but don’t want to over-indulge in a cup of sugary hot chocolate, try green tea. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that benefit your body in numerous ways. For example, polyphenols are micronutrients found in green tea which have properties that reduce inflammation and help prevent cell damage. Stir in some natural honey or agave for a sweeter taste without the guilt!
Our bodies naturally adjust to daylight savings, so when the days get shorter, we want to sleep longer. Use the sun going down earlier as an opportunity to establish a relaxing nighttime routine and get in bed earlier. Not getting enough quality rest can lead to heightened anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and many more unpleasant effects. Although the amount of sleep each person needs to feel their best is individual, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults ages 18-64 aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
5. Sweat it out
Most people find it especially hard to get out and break a sweat during the colder months. Try to resist the urge to curl up under a blanket on the couch, at least a few days a week, and push yourself to be active. Getting your blood pumping and releasing endorphins will keep your body and mind sharp during the winter. Joining a gym, or a weekly workout class can help you stay accountable and make the task at hand more fun. Additionally, if you’re being affected by seasonal depression or the stress of the holidays, head to a sauna or steam room. Both can help you relax by relieving muscle tightness and tension while purifying your body of toxins through sweat.
Snap a photo of yourself incorporating these tips into your routine and hashtag #Texarkanahealthywinter to motivate others not to drop the ball this season!
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Texarkana Emergency Center and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.