Health & Fitness
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How To Stay Active, Healthy And Happy During The Winter Months

Winter blues are an inevitable part of the winters and it requires one to muster a lot of positivity and strength to fight the gloominess that accompanies the cold. Bacteria and viruses are in the air causing the usual flu and wintertime illness, immunity drops low and one tends to get sluggish. These are but natural symptoms and whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or not winters can be a challenging season for many. Here’s how you can stay strong in the face of winter and train your mind and body to go with the flow.

Deriving energy from the morning sun 

Winter is that time of the year when you yearn for some sunlight as the Vitamin D contained in it; highly essential for bone and muscle development. Waking with the sun and exposing yourself to the sunlight between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.  during the peak hours, will do wonders in uplifting your mood. Bask in the glory of the sun and derive energy from it. Reflect back on your inner energy and qualms and try to stay positive. One way of doing this is practicing meditation. Taking occasional strolls around your house or office will not only clear your head but also help you look at the world from a whole new perspective.

Stay hydrated and take in hot drinks

Stay Active in Winter
Since we do not obviously perspire in winters we tend to decrease our intake of water as we feel less thirsty. However, we forget the vitality of water in our lives and its importance in maintaining our bodily functions. Aim for about 2 liters of water on a daily basis to keep yourself hydrated. You could even opt for alternatives like herbal teas that will not only fulfill your daily requirement of water but also keep you warm and cozy. 

Speaking of liquids, winters bring along the aroma of coffee and the desire to have hot drinks in bed. Hot cocoa is also a common choice amongst people and it is one of the most satisfying ways to stay warm during winters.  Wintertime is believed to be high on the hormone dopamine that helps mood enhancement. Even just the warmth of the hot cup against your skin is believed to invoke feelings of emotional warmth. A good companion in old age and a mug of hot beverage can help you stay happy.

Eat all you want but eat healthy

The slumber mode in winters and the naturally sluggish feels that we get in winters tends to increase our inclination towards loading ourselves with sugary and comfort foods. Trust me they will further lower your energy levels and make you feel bloated. Avoid heavy meals at dinner time especially because the nights are long and you tend to sleep longer hours during winters.

Being true to yourself and your health helps keep your immune system working efficiently and fight off the most common flu and cold. If you stay healthy you will be able to transfer that to your kids and ward your family from illnesses. Do your body the favor of curbing your cravings of turning to comfort foods that have a high salt, sugar or fat content. Immune building foods are the ones you need to concentrate on such as green vegetables and citrus fruits and berries. Experiment with different types of soups with lentils and vegetables to keep yourself warm and healthy during the winter.

Sleep like a baby

You may feel that you are getting lazy since it is winter time but you need to understand that sleep is central to your health and that is how your body is designed to function. Taking proper sleep helps you internalize your feelings of warmth and serenity.  The average hour of sleep that an adult needs is 7-8 hours of sleep so that his/her immune system is always on guard and help ward the winter cough and flu. Rest is very important for the body as you are likely to feel under the weather hence lowering your productivity levels in the winter months.

Keep the environment around you comfortable and warm. You can do this by regulating the temperature around you with the help of a heater and adjusting the thermostat to the ideal temperature so that you can work and operate well. Take care of yourself and take out some ‘you’ time to unwind and destress and not let the cold overwhelm you.

Avoid being sedentary during the winters

Physical exercise is always known to speed up your metabolism and is often used to warm you up before vigorous cardio or strength training. In winters, it becomes all the more essential to keep you warm and active. Winterize your workouts and wear a tight-fitting exercise leggings or tracksuit and go for a jog early in the morning if the outside weather allows otherwise you can also accomplish your exercise goals indoors as well. Exercise helps boost energy levels and keep you on your toes even when the weather is all chilly. A sedentary lifestyle is a complete no-no during winters.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 6th December 2016.
Rachael Everly
Rachael Everly is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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