Winter is here and so are colds, coughs, sneezes and bouts of the flu. You can prepare yourself with a box full of tissues and nasal spray or you can try your best to fend off those germs and stay healthy. Here are a few easy tips to help strengthen your immune system and defend against those winter illnesses.
1. Winter Workouts
It might be a little more difficult to stay active during these cold winter months but just because it’s harder doesn’t mean you have an excuse to stop moving. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce the chance of illness. Consider adjusting your workouts to include indoor activities like yoga, aerobics, dancing or even completing sets of push-ups and sit-ups as you watch television. If you feel adventurous consider outdoor adventures like ice skating, snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing. Winter walks can be a lot of fun too. Bundle up the entire family and take a short walk around the block together. Your kids will get a kick out of seeing their breath every time they exhale.
2. Eat Well
Don’t let winter be your excuse for poor eating. You may be tempted to reach for comfort foods that are high in fat and salt, but instead focus on foods that warm your body and your soul. Start the day with a bowl of oatmeal or cream of wheat. You can add fresh fruit, (either fresh or dried), and even sprinkle a little flax seed on top for extra nutrients. Make homemade soup for lunch. There are so many tasty soup recipes available; try split pea, butternut squash or old fashioned chicken noodle. Then create an Asian inspired salad for dinner. Fill it with seasonal mandarins and a dressing of garlic and ginger.
3. Wash Your Hands
Those viruses that run rampant this time of year are most often spread when friends, coworkers and perfect strangers sneeze and cough around us. They are also contracted from simple hand contact. Think about how many people with a sniffle push a shopping cart or pull on a door handle. To fend off those germs make certain to wash your hands as often as you can. It’s particularly important to wash as soon as you return home from an outing. Repeated washings are also warranted when you are in contact with a sick family member. Get your children in the habit of washing the moment they come home too.
4. Take a Multi-Vitamin
If you eat a well balanced diet in the wintertime you might not need a multi-vitamin, but if you don’t receive the recommended values of vitamins and minerals then you should definitely consider taking one. Right now Vitamin World is offering a buy-one-get-one sale on all Vitamin World brand vitamins. Buy a bottle for to use right now and another to use later in the season. Then write yourself a note to take these when you wake or before you go to bed. If you find that its easier to take them with food then keep them in your kitchen and make a habit of taking them after you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner.
5. Stay Hydrated
In the summer most of us feel hot and sweaty and make a point to consistently drink water. In the winter you don’t feel as thirsty and don’t typically drink the recommended amount of water to keep you hydrated. If you find yourself struggling to drink cold water throughout the day consider spicing up your H20 intake with herbal tea or simple hot water with lemon.
6. Stay Warm
As the temperatures drop make certain you are prepared with warm clothing and accessories. Winter is not the time to leave the house without a coat. Make certain to check the temperature each morning and dress accordingly. Make life easy and buy a coat with pockets big enough to hold your hat and gloves. If hats aren’t your cup of tea consider buying earmuffs or a warm headband that can cover your ears.
Follow these easy tips and protect yourself from illness this year.