A Guide on How to Maintain Wellness During the Winter Season
Posted on August 09 2017
Winter is a beautiful time of the year. Everything is white and peaceful. It’s the perfect weather to just sit back, relax, prepare a cup of steaming cocoa, and read a book. Well, winter isn’t all comfort and sweaters; it’s also a season of intense cold, sickness, and laziness. Winter is a dark and moist period of the year that leaves the body weak and needing extra doses of nutrients in order to maintain its normal functions. Here are some wellness tips for you and your family to get through the winter season unscathed.
Viruses thrive during the winter season and, if not treated, can lead to serious detrimental consequences. Viruses are not living organisms, hence, they cannot be eradicated with antibiotics. You can only rely on your immune system to fight off these nasty buggers so the best way to protect yourself from them is to boost your immunity and get vaccinated before winter. Go to your nearest health center and get vaccinated with the latest flu vaccine. Also, promote health and wellness at work during winter by practicing proper health etiquette in your workplace (like covering your mouth while coughing, washing your hands after going to the bathroom and before eating, sanitising with alcohol-based sanitisers, etc.). This will help prevent the spread of infection to your colleagues and thus preventing the spread of influenza in your area.
As said earlier, boosting your immune system is the key to fight off the flu during the winter season. What’s a better way to do it than to eat foods packed with essential nutrients and minerals that will help combat this disease? Studies have shown that certain strains of Lactobacillus plantarum (microbes found in food rich in probiotics) help reduce viral load in test subjects so stocking up on foods rich in probiotics can help improve your health and reduce incidence of viral infection in your home. These foods include yoghurt, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, and pickles.
Studies have also correlated vitamin A deficiency to incidences of viral infection in human subjects. Although no study has supported the claim that supplementation of vitamin A can lower instances of viral infection, it will do no harm to enrich yourself with vitamin A which can be found in foods such as pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc has also been known to boost immunity in human subjects. To prepare healthy meals filled with zinc, try cooking oysters or mussels or put some almonds in your salad. These foods are rich in zinc and are great for those on a diet.
During winter, we tend to forget thirst since we’re cold most of the time. The lack of perspiration also makes us forget that we are still sweating even though it’s winter. Let’s not forget to mention that indoor heaters, combined with the blistering temperatures, are very dehydrating. A wellness tip for winter dehydration would be to be conscious of your water intake. Try to drink around two liters of water every day. It may sound a bit excessive but at least you’ll be sure that you’re properly hydrated everyday.
When it’s freezing cold, it’s very tempting to just stay indoors and stay cosy all day. Don’t succumb to the temptation; get moving! Warm up your body by exercising. If it’s too cold outside, don’t force yourself to go for a run. Some activities you can do to maintain health and wellness during winter would be to hit the gym or swim some laps in indoor pools. If you’re low on motivation, invite a workout buddy to join you during your morning runs or gym sessions. This will not only help you maintain your weight but will also help you strengthen your immune system by keeping all your other organ systems in check.
GET RID OF MOLD
Molds live in dark and moist environments and winter fits that description perfectly. These fungi are pesky allergens that can aggravate seasonal asthma in your household. Do not give them a foothold in your home by always maintaining your home moist-free. Also, clean your closets regularly during winter because molds may eventually grow on your clothes. Another way to keep your home mold-free is to seal all food containers, storage containers, and other mold-prone areas properly.
BASK IN THE SUN OR SUPPLEMENT
During winter, days are shorter than nights so you’ll be experiencing less sun during this time. This is why countries located at the far poles of the world are prone to vitamin D deficiency. A tip to maintain your natural vigor during winter would be to bask in the sun as much as possible. Your body has natural stores of vitamin D that can only be used up once it’s exposed to sun radiation. When you bask in the sun, you increase the viable vitamin D in your body thus preventing deficiency. However, if there’s really no ample amount of sunlight in your area, supplement yourself with vitamin D, either in tablet form or in your diet. Foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish like salmon and tuna or food fortified with vitamin D like some dairy products.
When it’s cold, your body uses up more energy to warm yourself up. This increase in basal metabolic rate can have its toll on your body. Do not overwork yourself and have at least 8 hours of sleep every day in order for your body to recharge. It won’t be such a hard job to do this because the weather is perfect for sleeping. Just don’t sleep too much!
Winter can be harsh to all of us but if you follow these simple tips, you can survive and thrive during this cold season. If you have any other tips with regards to maintaining a sense of well-being during winter, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.