Winter is here, and with that often comes winter ailments like poor diets, high stress, lack of sleep, cold, and flu. Fortunately, you can take action to protect yourself and your family this year by following these steps to stay healthy this winter.
Steps to Staying Healthy This Winter
Eat a Healthy Diet
While you should do this all year long, bad habits often form over the summer as we indulge in ice cream and popsicles. As we continue into the holiday months, it can be easy to get caught up in the fatty foods and sweets that the holidays are known for.
While we aren’t saying to avoid it all, we suggest maintaining a healthy diet full of veggies, fruit, lean protein, whole grains, and anti-oxidant-rich foods. Additionally, try to limit your consumption of alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and unhealthy fats. Yes, you can still have a cookie, just practice moderation to ensure your body has the proper fuel to keep you healthy.
Speaking of fuel, your body needs a lot of water. It needs even more during the cold winter months as moisture is continually sucked out of you due to the cold air. If you struggle to remember to drink water, always keep a water bottle nearby or use a water tracking app.
Perform Regular Exercise
Again, this needs to happen all year long, but many people struggle to stay motivated once it gets cold. During the winter months, performing regular exercise is key to staying healthy. So, if it is too cold to play outside, consider joining a gym or health class to stay active.
Many suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in Alaska due to a lack of vitamin D. This can make you feel lethargic, moody, and sad. We recommend taking a vitamin D supplement in addition to a regular multi-vitamin.
Please speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medications, including supplements and vitamins.
Be Kind to Your Skin
Exposure to artificial heat, cold weather, and a lack of humidity leads to our skin suffering during the winter. We recommend using natural (jarred) lotions after showering, adding a humidifier to your home, and always using sunscreen. Even though it’s winter, the glare of the sun off the snow can still burn you!
Remember to Rest
The winter months can be hectic, especially around the holiday season. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get adequate rest. Lack of sleep and stress lowers your immune system, so make sure to take the time to get enough sleep, practice calming habits, have a lazy evening, and say no when your busy schedule gets to be too much.
Follow CDC Health Guidelines
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still active. Therefore, to prevent getting sick this winter, we highly advise that you continue to follow CDC guidelines which include:
– Wearing a mask
– Practicing social distancing
– Keeping a clean house
– Performing good hygiene
– Being aware of local outbreaks, especially if traveling during the holidays
Additionally, we highly recommend getting the flu shot to lower your chances of catching the flu.
Are you feeling unwell? Stop by First Care today to see one of our experienced physicians. You can book an appointment HERE.