Four Tips to Staying Healthy Through the Winter
The winter brings the wonderful holidays, family festivities, and snow! But with all the good that winter brings, it can also bring the flu, a cold, feeling blue or extra weight. In order to enjoy the winter, you have to take care of yourself and here are four tips to help you stay healthy through the holidays.
As much as many don't want to hear it, exercising is one of the best ways to stay healthy through the winter. Adding extra pounds over a few months can make a big difference on how you feel and what is going on internally with your body. Exercise can also help you reduce stress through the busy season.
Remember, you don't have to spend hours in the gym or doing exercise that you don't enjoy. Find activities that you like, such as snowshoeing or in-door rock climbing; it all counts towards exercise. You can also break down exercise throughout the day, doing a 10 minute bout in the morning, afternoon and evening. The key is to keep variety in your workout routines and don't be afraid to try new exercises.
I find one of the best ways to make sure I exercise is going with a buddy. Not only do you get to the gym because you enjoy their company but once you're there, you push yourself to work harder. Working out with a buddy opens more exercise possibilities, like partner stretching or exercises that you can do with your buddy.
We joke at work that we're not sure what sleep is. I'm sure everyone has been in that place in their life, where it seems sleep is the last thing that is going to happen. But it's so important that if you cut out sleep, you're increasing your risk to get sick, more likely to gain weight and you decrease your productivity.Sleep is the time when your body repairs, rejuvenates and refreshes. Without this time, your immunity goes down and your hormones become imbalanced.
Although, it is recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep, you should find what works for you between those hours. Another tip that I find helps me is to keep the same schedule, going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time. Once your body becomes regulated, it's so easy to fall asleep and get up. My body has become so regulated that I don't need an alarm to get up.
Remember exercise? Make sure you are done about three hours before you plan on going to sleep. Since exercise increases blood flow, heart rate, and body temperature, you might have a hard time going to sleep if you exercise too close to bed-time. But make sure you don't skip your workout because daily exercise can help you sleep better.
Take 20 minute power naps. The key to napping is keeping it to 20 minutes and waking up before your body hits the deep cycles of sleep. It's hard to bounce back after going into deep sleeping and 20 minutes should give you enough boost to get through the rest of your day. Twenty minutes should also not affect going to sleep at night; longer naps can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you asked me two years ago if I get the flu shot, I would have told you no. But then, I got the flu and practically everyone I worked with got the flu. As a result, I am now a firm believer in getting the flu shot. Also, as a result, I made sure that we brought flu shots to work and encouraged every associate to get vaccinated. Although, we didn't get everyone, I know a lot of people will be happy this winter that they were able to get the shot.
You can't get the flu from the shot, since it's a dead virus. And you have to get the flu shot every year since the virus changes and adapts. Individuals who work with people, who are pregnant, and who are elderly should make sure to get the flu shot.
Saying eat heathy through the holidays is like saying go run for president, doesn't seem very likely. But there are ways you can enjoy the holiday parties or eating the fun candy that's only available during the holidays without going crazy.
Holiday parties are hard because there is often so much food available you don't know where to start and you don't really think about where to start, you just dive in. The trick is to start with a drink in your hand while you survey what food is available. Make a note of what you want to try and what you can skip. Skip foods that you can get anytime or foods that are from a box. Homemade items are often healthier and taste better.
There's a fine line with the recommendation, eat before you go so you only eat a small plate at the party. The problem with this recommendation can be once you're at the party, you lose self-control and end up eating more calories than other party-goers because you ate before you came. The best way to use this tip is throughout your day maximize what you're eating. Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack and that will help you feel satisfied enough to just eat what you need to at the party.
We were at the store and noticed the many bags of candy that is only out at Christmas time. So tempting to buy every bag and enjoy it. Instead, I find one bag that I want to try. Divide the bag into smaller bags so you won't be tempted to eat the whole bag. You can also freeze chocolate.
Enjoy pineapple! Winter is not a time that a lot of fruits and vegetables are in-season but aim to eat four to five servings a day. Pineapple and other citrus fruits are in-season and make great choices. A lot of stores have apples left over from the fall and make such an easy snack. Can fruits and vegetables are also the next best choice.
There are lots of tips that can help you stay healthy but don't try to overwhelm yourself by doing it all. I recommend picking two or three items that you're going to focus on and write those goals.