With the ever-increasing coronavirus cases coupled with the onset of winter, it’s now more important than ever to look after your health and wellbeing.
Here are five tips for staying healthy this winter:
1. Exercise Outdoors
The optimal time for outdoor exercise is in the morning. It could be something as simple as going for a short walk or even engaging in some form of gentle exercise in your back garden. Exercise will help strengthen your immune system, boost your energy levels and reduce stress.
Try and expose yourself to natural light as much as possible, as it will help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and improve your mood.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It’s common for people to feel tired or sluggish in winter because of the darker, colder weather. Therefore, it is imperative that you get enough good quality sleep each night to tackle the ‘winter tiredness’. Try making small changes to your routine to find what works for you, such as going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday, cutting down on your caffeine intake or implementing a relaxation technique before bed.
Read more on how to improve the quality of your sleep here.
3. Destress and Relax
Stress can lead to a run-down of the body’s defences, weakening the immune system, and thereby making your body more susceptible to illnesses. Find a form of stress management that works for you. This could be anything from yoga to meditation to chatting with a friend.
Remember to take some time out for yourself, you deserve it!
4. Healthy Eating
When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food. However, it’s important to ensure that you are still getting some healthy foods in your diet. For example, you could try making a comforting meal with the warming vegetables that are in season in winter, such as parsnips, carrots, cauliflower and cabbage.
For breakfast, you could start your day with a bowl of warm porridge. Oats contain more soluble fibre than any other grain, which means that they digest slowly, keeping you fuller for longer and providing you with sustained energy throughout the morning. Add some fresh fruit or dates to your porridge for an extra boost of nutrients and energy.
However, just remember: Try to eat healthily where you can but don’t pressure yourself to be perfect.
Click here to read more about the top ten foods to strengthen your immune system.
5. Keep Hydrated
It’s just as important to keep hydrated in winter as it is in the summer. Your body needs water to function. However, due to the colder weather causing a reduction in the body’s thirst response, it can sometimes be difficult to keep hydrated. So, try and make sure you’re drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day. This can boost your immune system and help you fight against colds and flu.