How to Improve Your Health This Winter
Dan Levenson January 12, 2021
Now that winter is upon us, it can be tempting to let go of some of our healthy habits. With the days getting shorter and colder, you may find yourself spending more time indoors and eating heavier, less healthy, food. Not only can this impact your overall health, but it can also weaken your immune system, leaving you susceptible to getting sick. While getting sick is never fun, it is more important than ever that you find ways to stay healthy this winter due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19. To help you do this, here is a look at a few ways you can stay healthy this winter.
Maintain Your Diet and Exercise Routine
During the winter, it is easy to forgo the healthy lifestyle that you led in the summer. With the days getting colder, staying inside by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa may sound more tempting than braving the elements. However, it is critical that you continue to stay active as much as possible, even if you only get 20 minutes of exercise a day. Going out for a walk (wearing plenty of layers) can help you to fight off winter weight gain and depression that are all too common this time of year. If you cannot go outside, try to bring your workout home by using online exercise videos.
In addition to staying active, it is critical to maintain a healthy diet. While heavy comfort foods are often tempting this time of year, they can lead to weight gain. Maintaining a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help you to stay healthy, and it can also boost your immune system when combined with proper exercise.
Manage Indoor Air Quality
We all tend to spend more time indoors during the winter to escape the cold. The problem is that indoor air quality is often significantly lower than the air outdoors. Pollutants and allergens in the air in your home can negatively impact your health and the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater indoors. Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take to improve the air quality in your home such as vacuuming frequently and changing your air filter regularly. It can also be helpful to open windows and doors on warmer days to try to bring fresh air into your home.
In the era of Covid-19, be sure to wear a face-covering and follow social distancing guidelines when in public, especially when indoors and around other people.
Make Sure to Get Your Flu Shot
With flu season in full swing, it is important that you do everything you can to maintain your health. The flu can be devastating on its own, but the last thing that you need is to get the flu on top of COVID-19. While diet and exercise can help boost your immune system, there is only so much that you can do on your own to fight off the flu. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about the flu shot. A flu shot can significantly reduce your chances of getting the flu, helping to keep you healthy this winter.
Try to Get Some Sun
In addition to exposing us to poor air quality, spending so much time indoors during the winter also reduces the amount of vitamin D your body is exposed to. Not only can a vitamin D deficiency affect your overall physical health and weaken your immune system, but it can also lead to depression and anxiety. It is then important that you get some sun whenever possible. Additionally, if you find yourself spending a lot of time indoors this winter, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
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