It’s here again. That time of year when germs are rife and everyone struggles to stay warm. The winter months creep up on us and often leave us feeling drained, tired and generally run down. That is, of course, if we’re not looking after our health.
So how do you live a healthy lifestyle in winter? From healthy eating to ensuring you’re getting enough physical activity when the temperatures plummet, here’s our round-up of winter wellness tips to see you through the cooler months feeling and looking your best.
How to maintain a healthy lifestyle this winter
In order to remain fit and healthy throughout the winter months, it’s important to incorporate some good habits into your daily routine.
1. Maintain a healthy diet
It’s an obvious one, but maintaining a healthy diet is possibly the most important way to keep well throughout winter. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and make the most of what’s in season, such as tasty root vegetables. Healthy food will ensure your immune system is strong enough to prevent you from getting cold and flu.
2. Stay active
Alongside eating well, staying active is paramount for healthy living during winter (or any time of year, for that matter). It can be difficult to motivate ourselves to get outside when it’s so cold you can see cold air breathing from your mouth. But once you’re working up a sweat, you might be thankful it’s not sweltering outside. Otherwise, you could always head to the gym.
3. Get enough vitamin D
Many people struggle to get enough vitamin D in their diet during the winter months due to the lack of exposure to the sun. On clear days when the weak winter sun is shining, get outside and make the most of those rays. Also, ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D in your diet – think fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon, as well as cheese and egg yolks.
4. Wash your hands regularly
Germs are spread so easily during winter, so it’s important to stay on top of personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly. Not able to get to a sink? Keep some hand sanitiser with you at all times, especially when using public transport or in other busy environments such as shopping malls.
5. Get the flu jab
No matter how religiously you wash your hands, how much fruit and veggies you eat or how much vitamin D you get, it’s still hard to avoid the flu completely. It’s worth getting the flu vaccine each year to help combat the nasty influenza virus, especially when you spend your time travelling on busy buses and trains or couped up in a stuffy office.
6. Layer up
With the temperatures dropping much lower throughout the winter months, it’s important to layer up in comfy and cosy clothing. Bamboo fabric is the perfect choice for layering due to its thermo-regulating properties. Our Women’s Long Sleeve Round Neck T-Shirt and Men’s Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt are ideal for slipping on over a plain tee and beneath a jacket for effortless layering this winter.
7. Drink hot tea
Tea is truly a miracle beverage! Not only will a hot brew keep you warm during winter, but if you opt for a caffeinated tea it will help you get energised on those dark mornings without any of the jitters coffee can bring. Drinking tea throughout the cooler months is also a great way to keep your water intake up, as many of us forget to drink enough water when it’s cold outside.
8. Protect your skin
We all know that the winter months can be harsh on our skin, leaving it dry and chapped. Ensure to keep moisturised and use a lip balm to protect your lips from the cold. It’s a good idea to carry hand lotion with you as it’s common for our hands to get swollen and cracked when the temperatures drop. As mentioned previously, staying hydrated will also help you protect your skin during winter.
9. Get enough sleep
It’s important to get enough sleep all year round, but luckily it’s usually a bit easier in winter. Without summer’s soaring temperatures that keep us up all night, winter’s the time we can snuggle up in bed and hopefully enjoy a better night’s sleep. For many people, the problem might be getting too much sleep! With the sun setting early and rising late, our body clock will make us want to stay in bed all day – if only!
What should I eat to stay healthy in winter?
We know how important our diet is for maintaining our health during winter, but what exactly should we be eating? Here are our suggestions:
It’s always good to start your day with a breakfast that has slow-releasing energy, such as porridge. Not only will it keep you feeling full until lunch, but there’s nothing like warming oats on a cold winter’s morning. Top yours with nuts, seeds and seasonal fruit for extra health benefits.
2. Fruit and veggies
Vitamin C is crucial during the colder months to fighting off nasty colds and the flu. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg such as citrus fruits, kiwifruit (the delicious golden type is in season during winter – bonus!), broccoli, red capsicums and sweet potatoes.
Fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna are rich in vitamin B12, which contributes to the healthy functioning of the immune system and the reduction in tiredness and fatigue. Vegetarian? You’ll get your dose of B12 from milk and dairy products. Vegan? Take vitamin B12 as a supplement or in fortified cereals and yeast.
How do you stay active in the winter?
Just as important as getting enough healthy food in your diet during winter, it’s also vital to stick to a strict fitness regime. Here are a few ways to stay motivated to be active in the winter.
1. Head to the gym
Let’s face it, there’s really no excuse not to work out when you can head to an indoor gym. Not only will working out at the gym make you feel good, but it will help you fight heaps of health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Layer up and jog
Another way to keep living a healthy life during winter is by rugging up in the morning and heading out for a jog. Jogging is a great way to get your heart pumping, which will, in turn, warm you up – so long, winter chill! It’s also a great way to get outside when the temperatures are less than welcoming.
3. Take the stairs
Finally, a simple and easy way to factor fitness into your everyday life during winter is by taking the stairs at every opportunity. Whether at home, your apartment building or work, you probably come into contact with stairs at least once during your day. Stair climbing is great for weight loss and keeping your heart rate up. Skip that lift!