Stay Warm and Healthy This Winter

Easy Tips to Promote Good Health

The old adage of an apple a day is true.  Nurses and doctors encourage their patients to load up on fruits and vegetables to boost their immunity systems.
The old adage of an apple a day is true. Nurses and doctors encourage their patients to load up on fruits and vegetables to boost their immunity systems. | Source
These homemade woolen mittens from Finland will keep frostbite at bay.  Brrrr!!!
These homemade woolen mittens from Finland will keep frostbite at bay. Brrrr!!! | Source

Winter can be Health Challenging

Winter, with its lowered temperatures, brings stress to the body. Cool winds and dampness can bring on body aches and lower general body resistance, but that doesn't mean that winter has to bring illness.

Winter was traditionally a time of hibernation, taking it easier than the sunnier months of the year. Nowadays, we work just as hard, and the holidays can also bring their fair share of stress.

Even so, cooler temperatures can be refreshing. Bundling up for a wintertime walk - taking the time for a hot soak in tub - this goes along with the traditions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year.

Being (hopefully) a little more home-based, you may see snow, decorate your home a little differently and try to get back to basics. The season needs a little more self care to get through it with ease.

In this hub, I will explain the handy tips that I've learned in order to stay healthy during the Winter months!

Bundle Up Smart

Layers, cap, and a well protected neck are basics to keep the body warm during cold and flu season.
Layers, cap, and a well protected neck are basics to keep the body warm during cold and flu season. | Source

Winter Wardrobe Basics

Here are some important, seasonal standby's to include:

  • Long sleeve shirts with a collar and cuffs to preserve body heat
  • A sleeveless vest, knitted or padded - to add extra body heat under a heavy jacket. I also like to wear one indoors when sitting at the computer and other sedentary activities.
  • Long undies - thermals or just a nice long sleeved t-shirt
  • Long legged wear - can be leggings or even pajamas, tucked into socks
  • Warm socks with plenty of toe-room for wiggling
  • Sturdy, fat-soled shoes or ankle boots
  • A warm scarf to cover your lungs even if you simply criss-cross it - the knot is secondary.
  • Other winter accessories like mittens, gloves, knit cap, leather hat and so on. . .

Drinking Water Tip

If the water from the tap is too cold, it pays to warm up a little to add to your glass. You can use a kettle or just a small pot. The people of Siberia heat their water, adding a few blades of a special grass which sweetens the taste and lessens the shock between of the drinking water's temperature and their own body's temperature.

"Do" Drink the Water....

Drinking water keeps the body well hydrated and running efficiently. Any stray germs and virus in circulation will be moving right along as you drink the minimal 1 - 2 liters a day of clear water.

Liquids in soups and from fruit and vegetables also add up. Try to avoid drinks that are full of sugar, like apple juice, commercially prepared iced tea (with HFCS - that's High Fructose Corn Syrup). It makes you thirstier and at least a hundred extra calories!

Of course, temperature is important so avoid ice cubes or very cold water. In a restaurant, wait for the ice cubes to melt before drinking. (The body works harder to process cold water, it is a calorie burner - but in winter, more important to stay warm and healthy!)

Drinking and light exercise, like walking are two of the most important things to do in warding off disease and flushing out the body's nymph modes. One easy way to incorporate more water into the diet is to drink a glass (or two) before meals and a glass (or two) in between. Little by little it will become a habit.

Air Circulation

The biggest tip is to avoid cross streams of air circulating back and forth across the body. Check for air currents. Most susceptible are gaps between window panes and the wall, drafts under doorways, and holes in the ceiling panels.

Sensitive Areas

The Ears, Nose and Throat

These are usually the first places to show signs of a cold. A sniffle, a cough or an earache will be a dead giveaway of overexposure. Especially for those who use their voices a lot (meaning, the majority of us) like teachers, tour guides, and parents, try to keep your throat as warm as possible. This can be accomplished by wearing a collared shirt or blouse, turtleneck and a nice wool blend scarf between the chin and collarbone whenever going outside.

The throat is the main entry gate for illness. That means, eliminate iced tea, ice cream and other cold temperature treats when the weather is already assaulting you from all directions! These can be substituted with warm pudding, hot tea, spiced apple cider or mulled wine. Warms soups are also recommended.

(Sooo much better!)

A scarf around the mouth in an especially cold windy day is an excellent idea, especially if you have to go out in an icy windstorm or snow flurry.

Extremities

The feet and hands (extremities) are another area to be especially careful. If your feet get wet, remove wet socks immediately. The cold can get into your toe bones and cause rheumatism later. Investing in warm woolen socks for Winter is not a bad idea. Some people wear two pairs of socks. The main thing is to keep those toes warm and toasty.

Regulate Body Temperature

When arriving home, be sure to take off the coat, scarf, hat and - if possible - shoes you wore outside. Indoor temperatures are warmer than outside, so this will give your body a constant temperature. If you kept your coat on indoors, the cold weather outside would be a shock for your body to adjust to (again).

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the grandmas around the world have been known to say.

Natural goodness - better than medicine

Fruits are especially important during the winter months.
Fruits are especially important during the winter months. | Source
Vegetables can help keep weight under control while fortifying the body against germs and disease.  Dark green vegetables are good for enriching the blood.
Vegetables can help keep weight under control while fortifying the body against germs and disease. Dark green vegetables are good for enriching the blood. | Source

Fruits and Veggies - Gifts from the Gods

Four to Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Every Day....

One of the best ways to stay healthy in the winter is to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Included are green leafy vegetables, like swiss chard or blitva. They can be cooked in boiling salted water, drained and then garnished with, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Fresh fruits like seasonal oranges, bananas and apples are excellent. A nurse once told me that even in the 21st century, doctors aren't completely sure what is in fruits and vegetables that make them such a good source of immunity. These vitamins help prevent illness. We all know the expression, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Try to buy them from organically grown sources, farmers' markets, etc. for optimal nutrition.

What's for Lunch? Keep it Simple, Sweetie!

Again, delicious hot soups of tomato, homemade chicken stock made from bones, for example. Even creamed (vegetable) soups and instant soup mixes are great for keeping the body warm and well-nourished. Homemade chili is also a great staple for this period. Winter is a time of extra calories, less sunshine and usually less activity. These choices help you fuel up and keep your weight at a more or less normal level, keeping in mind that Christmas and Thanksgiving most usually give a pound or two, but regular weighing can help keep things under control.

Vitamins

A good multivitamin tablet is a great way to ensure you are covering your bases. Be sure to choose one without a lot of fillers. I also take Omega 3 which is great for women around 40 or so. Fruits and vegetables are important whether you take a MV or not.

I Follow the Sun

A winter walk can do a world of good for your mood and general health. With less sun, some people suffer from a mild winter depression. Vitamin D in the sunshine keeps spirits up and the increased heartbeat from a brisk walk will also help get the endorphins warmed up and exploding in the bloodstreams of your body. I imagine tiny popcorn kernels exploding into white flowery "feel good" hormones, which is the explanation for the runners' high.

Maximize limited sun time by spending at least an hour (even if it's lunch break) in the sun. If possible, open bedroom windows to let the sun's rays help freshen stale bedrooms and other living spaces, helping to kill festering mold and mildew (which live on damp air and darkness). Small children's fresh little pink lungs are especially vulnerable to the effects of mold and dust.

Indoor heating systems accumulate dust so try to minimize it. Vacuum often to discourage dust and bacteria build-up, focusing on corners of rooms, rugs and carpets. Sweaters can be aired out on sunny days and rugs can (and should) be shaken out and dried in the sun during the midday hours.

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