As the weather gets colder, many people adjust their lifestyle. They may spend more time indoors, keeping them in close proximity with household members even more than before. Others may shift their outdoor activities with the season, a move that may increase exposure to cold temperatures. In some areas, heaters may already be running full-bore to keep homes comfortable, drying out the air.
All of these changes alter what it takes to stay healthy. If you want to make sure you’re in the best shape possible this winter, including during the holiday season, here’s what you need to know.
1. Take Appropriate Precautions
COVID-19 mars this winter season. While there isn’t a vaccine for the coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking other precautions to stay healthy.
First, if you are able, get a flu shot. This will help protect you against newer strains of the flu, safeguarding you against a potentially dangerous virus.
Second, make cleaning a priority. Along with washing your hands regularly, sanitize surfaces frequently. This is especially true for shared, high-traffic surfaces, like kitchen counters, doorknobs, and more.
2. Focus on Nutrition
A healthy diet does support your immune system. It can make you better equipped to fight off illnesses, as a healthier body tends to have stronger defenses.
Ideally, focus on eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Watch both your sugar and caloric intake, as well as how much salt your consuming.
3. Remain Active
Getting enough exercise is another part of maintaining your health. The trick is, when the weather gets cold, some outdoor activities may no longer be an option.
If that’s the case for you, look for new opportunities. This can include winter activities like ice-skating, raking leaves, and building snowmen, or outdoor exercise that may be viable all year, like taking a walk around your neighborhood.
If you need to stay inside, you can still get exercise. For example, you can use your home’s staircase as an exercise option, walking up and down to get moving for a while. If you need something gentler on the joints, yoga doesn’t take up much space, is very low impact, and many poses can be adjusted to accommodate injuries or mobility issues.
4. Get Enough Sleep
For most adults, getting around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is important for overall health. It gives your body and brain a chance to relax and recharge. Plus, it can help you stay focused during the next day.
Preferably, you need to develop and stick with a sleep schedule. By waking up and going to bed simultaneously every day, including weekends, you create a pattern that may make it easier to get the rest you need.
5. Get a Little Sun
Sunlight is actually important to health. It helps with vitamin D formation, regulates your circadian rhythm, and may boost your mood. While it’s true that prolonged exposure to UV rays can be harmful, most people only need about 10 to 15 minutes in the sun to experience some benefits. If you’re going to be out longer than that, sunscreen is still recommended, ensuring you have protection against UV rays.
Ultimately, all five of the tips above can help you stay healthy this winter. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.