It comes around every year, but for most of us, winter still hits us with a shock, often followed by sniffles and sneezes. Cold, wet weather, shorter daylight hours and less time outside can bring on colds, flu’ and a general feeling of ‘SADness’ (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
That’s why it’s important to combat winter and indoor living with healthy eating, exercise and activities that make us happy. Here’s a few ways to brighten up winter and keep yourself feeling up to par:
Do your immune system a favour and ensure you’re eating nutrient-dense foods during winter. Slow cooked meals packed with herbs and veggies are nourishing for the soul and also help to provide the body with immunity boosting antioxidants. Garlic is another great choice as an immunity booster. Choose seasonal produce high in Vitamin C, such as kiwifruit, citrus, broccoli, kumara and potatoes.
It can be challenging to get motivated when it’s cold and dark outside (who doesn’t want to stay snuggled up under the duvet?), but regular exercise is a great way to improve blood flow, mood and sleep. Wrap up warm, grab a friend or the family and go for a walk outside. Winter sunshine will help boost your Vitamin D levels too.
Your skin can become very needy during winter. Harsh weather along with sudden changes in temperature from the cold outdoors to dry heating inside can cause skin to become dry and sensitive. Make sure you stay well hydrated during the cooler months. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
Hot showers and baths can be a winter go-to but hot water can dehydrate skin and strip it of natural oils. Keep showers short and not too hot and moisturise your skin after. Natural oils such as coconut oil are a great option.
As mentioned, Vitamin D is important for our health and the best way to get it is sunshine. But, even during winter, your skin is still at risk from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you are spending several hours outdoors or are ‘hitting the slopes’ skiing, remember to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
And remember, regular and ‘enough’ sleep is vital to keeping healthy. Rest up, and if you’re feeling run down, make sure to rest even more. That sounds like a good reason to get a few extra zzzzz’s during winter months!