All seasons come with their own potential health risks but winters particularly offer a rather harsh and hostile environment to your body. Let it be the increased risk of cold and flu or a multitude of skin problems, there are quite a few problems that you need to worry about in winters.
The following are 12 simple ways to stay healthy in winter.
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Focusing on adequate hydration is not just something that you should worry about in summers, but actually any time of the year. As a matter of fact, a lot of people end up getting dehydrated in winter, primarily because they don’t feel thirsty and neglect their need for proper hydration. Wendy Wells, NMD, from Arizona suggests that water intake should be half the value in ounces of the total weight of a person in pounds. This means that a 140 pound person should drink 70 ounces of water everyday.
You are really vulnerable to germ attack during winter, so make sure you are properly washing your hands and fingernails regularly. Use a hand sanitizer to effectively kill germs. Also make sure that you keep your surroundings such as work area and bedroom clean through anti-bacterial sprays.
Cleanse the Nasal Passage
You become particularly prone to nasal passage infections in winter. Not only will it allow you to breathe more easily and feel better, but it would even prevent you from a lot of health problems. Clinical studies have showed that people who regularly cleanse their nasal passage are less likely to develop such infections.
Focus on Greater Skincare
In terms of cosmetics, probably no other organ suffers more damage in winter than the skin. To sum it up, your skin needs a lot of moisture during these months to help fight dryness, brittleness and damage, especially when the heating system is up and running in full throttle. According to the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago, you need to humidify your rooms with a humidity level ranging from 40% to 50%. Apart from that, body moisturizers should be used after showers or baths. Moisturizers in jars are more effective than pump moisturizers due to lower water content.
Make Up for the Missing Sunlight Vitamin D
You would be missing the sun a lot during winter, especially if you love to tan. So you can make up for the lost opportunity to make Vitamin D that way by increasing its dietary intake. This is particularly useful for women who need to promote the health of their bones. As per the National Osteoporosis Foundation, adults under age 50 need to take 400-800 IU of Vitamin D, while older individuals should take 800-1000 IU. You can include dietary items such as a glass of milk, cod liver oil, sardines, shrimps, salmon, tuna and fruit juices with added Vitamin D content.
Eat a Lot of Green Vegetables
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The dietary importance of green vegetables can hardly be emphasized. These rich dietary sources can provide you with the energy and nutrients you need to preserve your health in the cold weather. Important sources of nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, D, E and K, and minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Potassium, green vegetables can really offer you a boost even if you hate the way they taste. Try vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, celery, dandelion and lettuce.
Drink a Lot of Green Tea
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Just about anyone loves coffee, but that is not the healthiest way you can take your supply of caffeine and keep your way warm too. Try green tea instead. Probably the richest source of antioxidants around, it boosts energy levels and metabolism, promotes immunity and helps burn fat. The winter offers a good reason to switch over to green tea if you have been looking to lose weight for a long time.
Take Care of Your Feet
Winter is cold and damp. This could give rise to a potential health threat for your feet. Most of the people keep their feet covered during winter and if proper hygiene is not maintained, it could offer the perfect breeding ground for fungi. However, dryness can be as destructive for your feet as it can cause skin cracks and other cosmetic problems. Regularly changing your socks and wearing socks of synthetic fabrics can help prevent fungal infections. Moisturize your feet regularly in order to avoid cracks and accumulation of dead skin layers.
Calibrate Your Diet For Your Fitness
You can easily put on some pounds in the winter before you realize it. So if weight has been a persistent problem that you have been looking to overcome, then you really need to watch your diet. Eliminate sugars that would prove harmful to your metabolism and would add a lot to your calorie count. Add Zinc and Vitamin C to your diet. Avoiding smoking and drinking and eating in moderation will certainly put you on a healthy path this winter.
Warm Up & Exercise
Laziness can take over your body during winter before you know it. And it will make you indulge in it. But it’s nothing to enjoy if you are concerned about your health. Not only can it prove unhealthy physically, but lack of movement would also add to your mental stress. Therefore, be determined to make warming up and working out a daily routine, if only for ten minutes.
Taking flu vaccinations can help prevent this viral infection during winter. This is particularly important for pregnant women so that the infection is not passed on to the baby.
Be Active and Kill Stress
One of the greatest and most neglected health threats during winter is stress. Conditions like Seasonal Affected Disorder are more severely exclusive to the occurrence of winter. However, even if you are not apparently suffering from a psychological condition, staying home for a long while and lack of social life can induce stress and even depression. Make sure you get enough sleep so that you don’t drain your energies. A good work and sleep balance could really do wonders to your mood.