As the temperatures drop and the layers go on, staying healthy can feel like more of a challenge. Here are five tips to help keep your body in balance in the chilly months:
When it's cold it’s easy to forget to keep hydrated, leaving us feeling flat and lethargic. If you don’t feel like plain water, try something new to top up your hydration levels such as herbal tea, a warm smoothie or hot water with fresh ginger and lemon. We all need to aim to drink two to three litres of water per day. A useful tip is to keep a two litre bottle of water by your desk and sip from that all day so that you can keep track of how much you are drinking. Good hydration levels keep your body in balance leading to reduced tiredness, a balanced appetite and glowing skin.
The autumn and winter months are a key time to rest and let the body recuperate as it battles against the cold temperatures and increase in illnesses. The recommended amount of sleep time is seven hours per night but this can vary from person to person. Listen to your body and find the pattern that works for you. Many people find it useful to experiment with two earlier nights per week – say 10.00pm - and build from there.
Top up your Vitamin D levels
With the shorter days our Vitamin D levels can drop drastically leading to fatigue and poor health. Catch as much sunlight as possible by wrapping up warm and going for a walk or run at lunchtime when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. The mixture of exercise, fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing. Aim to do this a few times a week and you’ll soon feel the difference.
It can be tempting to see winter as the time to let exercise regimes fall by the wayside but a key way to keeping healthy is to remain active all year round. Not only does exercise keep us in good physical condition, it boosts our immune system, keeps our metabolism level and floods our body with happiness hormones. Adjust your routine to work with the colder weather by adding a mixture of outdoor and indoor activities such as brisk walks, cycling, indoor exercise classes or at-home workouts.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy – try upping your vegetable intake with homemade soups, stews and slow-cooked meals. In the colder months it’s even more important to have a diet full of fresh seasonal vegetables to keep our bodies topped up with vitamins and minerals so we can fight off colds and viruses. Try experimenting with root vegetables such as carrots, swede, parsnips and sweet potato. Here are some ideas for Winter Soups from Jamie Oliver.
How do you stay healthy in the colder months? Tell us below.