Depending on where you live, your lifestyle, and your personality, you either look forward to winter each year or dread the long, cold months. If you’re in the first category, you probably love Christmas, find snow beautiful, and enjoy winter activities like skiing and ice skating. If you’re in the other category, you probably hate the cold and try your best to avoid it all winter long.
No matter what category you fall under, it can be difficult to promote health during these months. No one is immune to some of the downfalls of winter. For example, it’s easy to start feeling down due to low light levels, shorter days, and our increased time indoors.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Keep reading for our top healthy practices to make sure you have an enjoyable and productive winter.
Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the most important healing tips to promote health in the winter is to make sleep a top priority. Sleep deprivation is can have serious consequences. These include:
- Inability to focus
- Weight gain
- Memory issues
- High blood pressure
- Reduced Immunity
You’re at a high risk of these side effects if you regularly get less than seven hours of sleep. To avoid this, create a nighttime routine that helps you get to sleep in a timely manner. Turn off your electronics, keep your room dark, get the right temperature, and meditate before bed to calm your body and mind.
However, make sure you’re not getting too much sleep, as it can also create negative side effects. Oversleeping on a regular basis can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, and more. For reference, anything over nine hours of sleep is considered too much.
Start a Workout Routine
We all know how much easier it is to stay active during the warmer months. However, as winter sets in, we all tend to hunker down and adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. Let’s be honest, the days are shorter and much colder, it’s comforting to come home after work and snuggle up on the couch.
Unfortunately, this is one of the major contributing factors to seasonal affective disorder or SAD. This condition, brought on by low light and our tendency to stay indoors and be less active during the winter, leads to depression.
To combat SAD, adopt a new workout routine this winter. If you already have one, make sure you stay just as committed to it, even on the days you would rather just come home and collapse on the couch. These are the days when it’s especially important to stay active.
To promote health and fitness this winter, join a gym, design an at-home workout, or bundle up every night for a long walk with your dog or a friend. No matter what you do, we recommend finding a workout buddy to help you stay accountable.
Spend Some Time Outside
As noted above, being inside all winter long can lead to feelings of depression. Though it’s cold outside, you should still get out in the sunshine a few times a week. There are several benefits of sunlight, such as:
- Better sleep
- Better immunity
- Weight loss
- Reduced stress and depression
- And more
Most of this is made possible because our body synthesizes vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Go outside and walk the dog, build a snowman with the kids, go sledding, go skiing, etc. There are plenty of things to do outside, even in the winter.
Eat Good Foods
Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the best healthy practices for any time of year. What we eat plays a major role in our energy levels, our emotions, and our overall health.
During the cold months of winter, it’s only natural to crave warm comfort foods, dining out at restaurants, and ordering food to the house. However, the more unhealthy foods you eat, the harder your winter is going to be.
Processed foods that are high in fats and sugars have been linked to increased risks of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, these types of foods lack the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to feel energized and function at full capacity.
And if that’s not a good enough reason to eat healthier, consuming this type of food regularly leads to a larger waistline. Instead, focus on whole foods this winter. These include:
- Lean meats (no processed meats)
- Beans, lentils
- Fresh fruits
- Whole grains (whole wheat/multigrain pasta, bread, cereal, etc.)
- Nuts, seeds
If possible, we recommend cutting out dairy. All people have some level of inflamation when consuming dairy, which can lead to other health issues. Additionally, things like cheese, sour cream, and ice cream are some of the most unhealthy foods on the market.
Invest in Some Quality Health Supplements
Another effective way you can promote health this winter is by finding some health supplements. As previously discussed, during the winter months, you’re less likely to be outside, active, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
To compensate, we recommend finding some high-quality supplements. These include immunity boosters like vitamin C, vitamin D to make up for lack of sunshine, and more.
If you’re trying to stay motivated through your workouts, you should also look into workout supplements. To help build muscle you can use protein powder, creatine, BCAAs, and pre-workout. Additionally, check out TB 500 to explore the benefits of SARMs.
No matter what time of year it is, if you spend too much time sitting on the couch, you can start to feel depressed. We already talked about the importance of exercise and being active, but let’s consider another important factor to promote health – being productive.
Just because you’re inside, it doesn’t mean you can’t still find something productive to do with your time. You can do some interior remodeling, decluttering, and deep cleaning.
Alternatively, consider picking up a new hobby or reinvesting yourself in an old one. What better time to pick up your old paintbrushes and get back into painting? Maybe it’s time to learn something new, like knitting, playing the guitar, or writing.
Want to Promote Health This Winter?
If you want to have a good winter this year, follow the suggestions listed above to make sure you don’t fall into depression or spend too much time on the couch. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to promote health all year long, not just during the warmer seasons.
And if you’re looking for more lifestyle tips and advice, stick around a little longer. Our blog has plenty of great articles to help everyday people improve their lives.