How To Prepare Your Body For The Colder Months
The autumn equinox is behind us and it won’t be long before we’re in the depths of those cold winter months. But winter doesn’t have to be unpleasant, while many people experience lower energy levels and more illnesses during the winter months, that doesn’t have to be an inevitability.
Our 5 step winter prep plan can help you to prepare your body and mind for the shorter days and colder months, so you can have a happy and healthy winter.
STEP 1: SUPPLEMENT VITAMIN D3
Vitamin D levels decline during winter, due to the weaker sun and the fewer hours we spend with our skin exposed to the rays that stimulate Vitamin D production in our bodies.
Research shows that vitamin D supplements are a highly effective way to protect from respiratory virus infections, so supplementing can help keep you healthy through the winter. But not all vitamin D supplements are created equal.
Because of the way your body uses Vitamin D,
it’s important to opt for a sublingual supplement that goes under your tongue (sublingual). These supplements can come in drops or a spray. Be sure to choose Vitamin D3 (rather than just D) as that’s the most effective form for this purpose.
STEP 2: WRAP UP WARM
As the weather gets cooler, it’s important to dress appropriately to conserve energy and protect your health. When your body temperature drops, your body has to use extra energy to produce heat and keep you toasty warm.
While being cold alone won’t make you sick (you have to be exposed to a virus for that to happen) it can reduce your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness.
STEP 3: DON’T HIDE INDOORS
Fresh air and nature can have a hugely positive impact on your physical and mental health. But as the days grow shorter and the temperature gets cooler, it can be tempting to stay indoors more.
Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be reserved for the summer months. The changing leaves in autumn make for beautiful forest walks, the darker, churning sea makes a beautiful view as you walk along
the seafront and there’s plenty of outdoor winter hobbies to take up.
Take up star gazing or visit your local dry ski slope. Wrap up warm, light the fire pit and invite some friends round for a winter BBQ. You might have to be a little more creative, but there’s plenty of ways to make being outdoors in winter fun.
STEP 4: MAKE PLANS
Summer is usually effortlessly filled with events and opportunities for fun. BBQs, festivals, weddings and holidays all get you out of the house and mixing with your nearest and dearest.
Winter doesn’t quite have the same natural effect. But variety and socialising are important for your mental health. While it can be nice to snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket and the latest Netflix blockbuster, staying home alone too much can be damaging to your emotional health.
So make plans. Invite friends round, book tickets to a show, plan a party or schedule some time to visit your family. A little proactivity can help make this winter more fun and ensure you get plenty of time with your family and friends.
STEP 5: EAT FOR IMMUNITY
Your immune system is your defence against colds, flus and even coronavirus. If you want to stay healthy this winter, it’s time to pay attention to what you eat.
Your diet has a huge impact on your health, energy and your immune system. Some foods can strengthen your body’s ability to fight disease while others can inhibit the immune system, making you more likely to get sick.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Brightly coloured produce such as peppers, berries, beetroot and oranges are high in vitamin C – a nutrient that’s essential for good immune health.
Seeds and seafood are high in zinc, a mineral that helps boost your immune system and protect you from illness.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are high in minerals and iron, important for healthy blood and good energy levels.
Then there’s the not so great foods that are best to avoid…
Alcohol, sugar and processed foods all have a negative effect on your health and can lead to reduced energy and poorer immune function.
So, if you’re keen to make this winter your best winter yet, these 5 simple steps will help keep you healthy and happy this winter.