Your calendar is filling up with holiday parties, festive music is in the air, and Christmas movies have filled your Netflix queue! Let's make the most wonderful time of the year even more wonderful with these 7 simple tips to help you stay healthy this winter.
These methods will help you stay healthy and avoid using those sick days.
How to stay healthy this winter
1. Get outside
During the winter months, it can be natural to stay inside. It’s cold outside, it gets dark earlier, and it just makes you want to hole up inside.
But staying inside can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. As Health.com explains, staying inside deprives you of Vitamin D which protects you from depression.
The in-doors can also become a breeding ground for germs during winter months. Getting outside will help you get your daily dose of Vitamin D and also prevent you from catching the germs around you.
2. Drink more water
Drinking water keeps you hydrated and helps flush toxins from your body. In addition to removing toxins, the benefits of drinking water include an improved immune system, improved mood, and improved cognitive function.
3. Drink less alcohol
Consuming alcohol can have the opposite effect of water. It depresses your nervous system and negatively impacts your mood. It can also cause nighttime waking leading to impaired sleep according to Dawn Buse, Ph.D., a health psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.
4. Get adequate sleep
And speaking of sleep, it’s one of the simplest safeguards against sickness. A lack of sleep leads to irritability, impaired cognitive, and a weakened immune system.
WebMD explains that there’s a clear link between sleep and sickness: “In simple terms, sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function.”
5. Eat healthy meals
We’ve all heard “you are what you eat.” It may not be as direct as the saying goes, but our dietary habits clearly impact our body’s health. The food you consume provides the vitamins and minerals your body uses to create energy and fight disease.
Eating junk won’t provide the essential vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. Think of your body like a car. If you fill the car up with junk fuel it won’t be able to run effectively.
Exercise isn’t just for staying in shape. It’s also been shown to boost your immune system. “If you're looking for a safe way to prevent colds regular exercise may be the ticket,” according to WebMD.
Routine exercise has also been shown to improve your mood and prevent depression. And that’s something we can all use during the dark days of winter.
7. Don’t work too much
The natural tendency for when it gets cold is to stay indoors. As a result, you tend to work longer hours and become less active. As we just discussed, a lack of physical activity impairs your immune system.
But your immune system isn’t the only thing to suffer from “winter work hours.” Working longer hours indoors deprives you of Vitamin D which can lead to depression.
This winter, commit to prioritizing your health. These seven tips to help you stay healthy this winter aren’t difficult.
Be sure to set aside time for family and friends. And you may not want to have a picnic in the park, but take every opportunity to get outside this winter. Maintaining a healthy balance with your food, sleep, and physical activity will go a long way in fighting common winter-related sicknesses.