Coming into the cooler months is great in a lot of ways. For a start, the heat is abating and we’re free to wear layers again! But winter also brings its own set of challenges and it’s important that we prepare and look after ourselves properly in the chilly season.
Check out a few simple tips and tricks to staying healthy and happy this winter:
1. Sleep Right
Getting enough sleep is a cornerstone of living a healthy lifestyle and people who get enough sleep are more creative, more productive and may even be happier according to some studies.
Poor sleep can take its toll on everyday life, affecting mood, stress levels and weight. Most health professionals suggest between seven and nine hours a night to be optimal, depending on your age and other health factors.
If you find it difficult to get quality sleep, try connecting to a yoga practice or meditate for 15 minutes every evening. Simply disconnecting from technology could also have a beneficial effect on disrupted sleep patterns.
Many people have even found acupressure or ‘tapping’ helps them to relax and put their mind into a place for sleep by gently applying pressure to certain pressure points in the body. Follow the link to see if this could help you get a better night’s rest.
2. Stay hydrated
We are all aware of how important it is to stay hydrated during the summer months when we’re prone to losing vital fluids, as well as chloride, potassium and sodium. But taking the time to get enough fluids in the cooler months is a fundamental part of a healthy winter lifestyle.
In winter, dehydration is less noticeable and we can dehydrate without even realizing it until our skin dries out and our lips begin to crack.
When your body is hydrated, your body breaks down fats more efficiently; converting them to energy and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Water also regulates your temperature, lubricates your joints, and transports nutrients throughout your body.
The simple act of drinking a 500ml of water prior to breakfast will assist you with energy, mental sharpness and digestion. Stay hydrated all day and all winter and feel the difference.
3. Lemon Aid
Citrus fruits are coming in to season again and so is cold and flu season, so now is a great time to enjoy more oranges, lemons and limes to ensure your intake of Vitamin C is maintained.
Winter is when citrus fruits are at their juiciest and they also have a whole host of benefits ranging from boosting your immune system, heart health and lowering cholesterol.
So, there’s no excuse to miss out on a tasty pink grapefruit for breakfast or a couple of Mandarin oranges with lunch and looking after yourself this winter.
4. Winter Sun
Most people achieve adequate vitamin D levels through incidental exposure to sunlight when the UV index is three or above. However in the winter when the UV index drops below three, it’s important that we spend some time outdoors in the middle of the day with some skin uncovered.
Being physically active is a great way to achieve that much needed vitamin D, so running, walking or gardening are all great ways to keep our muscles and bones healthy in the cooler months.
And of course, we should all still take precautions to stay safe in the sunâ€¦ even in winter to keep our skin healthy all year round.
5. Time Out
Take time out to stop, breathe and relax. Your overall health is a balance of both emotional and physical wellbeing and winter is a great time for self-reflection and restoring those depleted energies from all that summer fun.
So refocus on yourself. Join a meditation group, a walking club, or just spend some quality time alone.
The winter is often a time of year where we feel stress and anxiety a little bit more than in the sunshine, so taking a little extra time just for you is a must.