Now that it’s getting chilly outside, it is easy to stay in bed in cozy pajamas with a warm cup of hot chocolate and hibernate. I have lived in the Northeast my whole life and winter is still my least favorite season. I rarely get sick but when I do, it is always around this time of the year. Even though it may be tempting to hibernate indoors and be a couch potato all day, this is the time when our bodies need us to take care of them the most.
Don’t let the winter blues keep you from your sticking to your goals of staying healthy year-round. Not only do our immune systems take a hit during the winter (hello flu season), but we also tend to spend more time cooped up indoors, which also affects our physical and mental health.
It can be tempting to take a break from exercising during the winter months but it is important to remember that getting used to skipping workouts can lead to some even harder changes when spring comes and you are trying to get back into shape.
While getting up to go to the gym may sound like the last thing you want to do on a cold winter day, there here are some ways you can still stay active.
- Next time you meet up with friends, you can suggest a fun outing such as bowling, rock climbing or ice skating which involves some physical activity.
- During the work day, you can take opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- If you need to do your holiday shopping, you can also get some steps in by walking around the mall.
- If you’re inside your home, it’s the perfect time to get those household chores done. Remember that vacuuming, scrubbing, cleaning all involve some work!
Also, keep in mind that regular exercise is also important for maintaining a healthy immune system, which is crucial during this time of the year.
Getting sick during the holidays is not fun! Eating well can help maintain a healthy immune system, making it easier to fight off these yucky germs. Be sure to include foods in your day that are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc such as pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, oranges, peppers, strawberries, chicken, beans, fortified cereals, and whole grains. With the lack of sunlight during winter, we miss out on our sunshine vitamin! Less sunlight means less vitamin D, which means we need to be more diligent in supplementing or trying to get outside when the sun is out (more motivation for going outside in the cold!).
Have a happy and healthy holidays,