If we put on a few pounds over winter, we often blame the extra food and drink we consume during festivities and the lack of exercise due to the colder, darker days of the season. But did you know that, on average, we gain 2-4lbs over the holiday season? The question is, is putting on weight inevitable? With the holiday season just around the corner once again, metabolisms are switching into their slow winter mode. Therefore, it is important to watch what you eat and stay active.
With shorter days and colder weather, finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit can be difficult. However, not doing so can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, posing a higher risk of developing illnesses or injuries.
When it’s hovering just below freezing outside, suddenly the only thing you want to do is sit on the couch a do absolutely nothing at all. We’ve all been there! When the cold weather sets in, it is usually accompanied by fewer hours of sunlight which can affect your sleep cycle and create what some people call ‘winter tiredness’. Because of the shorter days and reduced sunlight, your body produces more melatonin, which is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
Wintertime presents a higher likelihood to develop a cold or flu than during any other season. However, there are ways to help protect yourself against the winter blues. Here are some winter diet and exercise tips to show you how to stay healthy and fit during the cold months ahead:
1. Workout at Home
If you have no desire to head outdoors for your workout, then you can always do it at home. There are plenty of resources online that supply fun workout videos and exercises. These resources offer a variety of workouts including yoga, strength training, aerobics and other body-weight exercises.
2. Wash your hands regularly
Washing your hands frequently throughout the day is vital for maintaining your health during winter. It not only helps protect your immune system and prevent you from developing colds and flu, but it also protects others around you.
3. Take Vitamin Supplements
Consuming lots of vitamin C during the winter will help your body to battle cold and flu symptoms if you do experience them. Vitamin D helps to supplement the lack of light experienced during winter, but it’s still important to get out in the sun whenever possible. Vitamin D also helps your body to absorb other essential vitamins like vitamin A, iron and calcium.
4. Drink Herbal Teas
There are a lot of herbal teas available that can help you stay healthy. Herbal teas like lemon and chamomile can ease depression and anxiety by calming your nerves and relaxing your body. They can also help you sleep better!
5. Keep Warm
When the temperature drops, certain health risks increase. Because your body works harder to keep warm, the immune system is left vulnerable.
Turn up the heating in your home and wear a hat outside to maintain a healthy level of body heat and enjoy lasting winter health.
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