Though Spring is still a few weeks away, it’s usually the last dregs of the cold season which hits us all the most, causing us to get sick, miss work and become the person that nobody wants to touch or go near.
With recent news of the Coronavirus outbreak along with the rapidly fluctuating weather we’ve been experiencing recently, now more than ever it’s important to ensure you’re taking extra good care of you and your family’s health.
Fill Up On Vitamins
While you can satisfy most of your body’s nutritional needs through a healthy diet and getting out in the sun, in winter it can be harder for your body’s immune system to keep its tolerance up in certain conditions. A sensible thing to include in your morning or breakfast routine is some Omega 3, Vitamin C, B12 and iron. There are plenty of multivitamin pills and powders available at practically all pharmacies and local drug stores. For most people, a quick multivitamin every day is enough to boost the immune system.
Wash Hands Regularly
It’s a no-brainer to wash your hands frequently. In winter especially, however, germs and influenza can linger on surfaces and skin for many hours — 40% of all common-cold viruses remain infectious on hands for up to an hour, so it’s best to avoid physical contact and handshakes with people who are sick. Even if they are not, you should wash your hands with a strong detergent or desanitizer as a precaution. This will also stop the risk of spreading any viruses or germs to others if you are sick too.
In the next few weeks until Spring, we might get days with a few streaks of sunshine, but it’s still likely to be freezing as soon as you step outside or step in the shade. It’s always wise to wear an extra pair of socks or carry an extra sweater with you just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst. Wear a high-quality coat to keep your core warm and strong waterproof shoes on your feet to prevent catching a cold.
Drink Ginger and Lemon
Herbal teas are great all year round and contain fantastic antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system and help with the symptoms of flu-like illnesses and colds. Drink green tea and add immune-boosting ingredients such as ginger, honey and lemon.
There are other herbal teas such as chamomile and Rooibos which can also help relieve anxiety and depression, health issues which are deemed to be more prevalent in people during the dark and colder months.
Get Fiber into Your Diet
Fiber is an important nutritional component the body relies on to regulate our bowel movements, blood sugar, cholesterol, intestinal functions, and other processes in the body. The benefits of including just 25g into your diet every day can greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, bowel cancer, and stroke.
You can easily up your fiber intake with special fiber power supplements available at any pharmacy — or you can simply do it the natural way by adding more vegetables, wholegrains, beans, lentils and fruit (not fruit juice) to your diet.
Eat Well and Exercise
A balanced diet is always advised no matter what time of the year it is. In winter, however, it’s a great excuse to get the slow cooker out and fill it to the brim with juicy colorful vegetables that will warm the throat and heart.
The downside is that most of us are more susceptible to over indulgence in winter, so ensuring you’re getting some moderate exercise to compensate for those extra treats is important. Even when there’s snow on the ground, get out for a walk regularly and breathe in that crisp winter air to put some color back into your cheeks!
Get Plenty of Sleep
Everyone needs to catch their zzzs in order to stay focused, alert and aware. The brain can’t perform at an optimum level if you’re not getting enough hours of sleep every night. The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep on a regular basis to feel energized.
Extreme fatigue is something that can eventually invite in a whole host of other health problems, such as decreased brain activity, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and diabetes. Develop a solid bedtime routine that involves putting the phone down, turning the TV off, and putting the snacks away a few hours before your head hits the pillow.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a struggle most of us can relate to…
Most of us have little control over whether we get sick or not, but there are plenty of things you can do to put yourself at less risk. If getting enough sleep is a big problem for you, start by going to bed a bit earlier and reading a book for an hour to give yourself a chance to relax.
If finding the time to cook a hearty meal is a challenge, drop the sugary snacks and get your intake of vitamins by eating some fruit and nuts throughout the day instead. You don’t have to go full-pelt into a fitness regime to stay healthy, but there are little things you can do to keep your immune system and body in shape, which in turn will reduce the risk of illnesses.
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