Are you embracing the coming of winter, excited about all things Christmas and longing for frosty mornings or do you dread the darker days and thoughts of donning jumpers and coats? Although some may decide curling up on a couch and eating all the wrong things is par for the course for winter, it’s really not the best way to enjoy it. Take a look at some of our hints and tips to staying fit and healthy and making the most of the season.
Live well, eat well
These seem like obvious choices but with all the extra food and drink around in the run up to and over Christmas, it can be tricky to avoid the slippery slope into sloppy eating. At the same time, Christmas jogging may also give way to Christmas shopping!
It’s worth thinking about upping your quota of fruit and veg at this time of year. The key is colour. If you can introduce as many different colours of veg to your dinner plate as possible, not only will it look a treat, but it will introduce a variety of vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Should you feel the need to supplement then consider omega 3 fatty acids along with Vitamin D. Vitamin C is also great for warding off colds and its absorbed better if taken alongside Vitamin D. Omega 3 fatty acids can naturally be found in flaxseeds, canola oil and oily fish and although more studies are needed, it’s thought they have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-depressive properties; great for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Spices are also a handy tool in fighting inflammation, and some are antioxidants. Turmeric, garlic and ginger are the favourites. Ginger also makes a great alternative tea drink along with peppermint for digestion and chamomile for its calming properties. Some studies have shown echinacea tea to shorten the lifespan of a cold.
Getting out and about is also an effective weapon against SAD, although this can be tricky when your motivation is down. If you do find that your usually bubbly personality has markedly changed with the darker nights, it is worth making an appointment with the doctor. For others, the shorter daylight hours may mean a change of routine away from outdoor evening activities. However, there is a lot of online help available if you know where to look. Organisations such as The British Heart Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society have a range of activities and social events open to all. The Alzheimer’s Society also have events for carers. Meetup.com and Spice.uk are also good places to look for inspiration.
Keep It Clean
Bugs and viruses tend to have a habit of multiplying once the heating has gone back on. The very best tip here is to wash your hands effectively. Although germs can linger on surfaces and be airborne, washing your hands properly is still the best defence. This includes using hit water and rubbing your hands together and between fingers. Liquid soap and paper towels are best but be sure to rinse thoroughly or else you could end up with chapped hands.
Book A Break!
It may sound daft but if all else fails, have something to look forward to. It may just be a weekend break away to somewhere new rather than a fortnight in the Seychelles but a change of scenery can do wonders for the soul and your wellbeing. Just rifling through a few holiday pages online and planning your next summer holiday may do the trick. Perhaps eat some exotic fruit whilst you do it?