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How to Look After Health in Winter

Health and wellness in winter is a huge topic, almost as huge as the icicles forming on the eaves of your family home – make sure you break these off for safety. While it’s not possible to cover all of the topics in a single guide, this one gives it a try. Read on to find out about the foundational elements of health and wellness in winter and how to best look after the family.

How to Look After Physical Health in Winter

Physical health is one of the foundations for optimal health overall, that’s because physical health regulates emotional health and supports the immune system, but there are many challenges to maintaining good physical health in the winter, such as road conditions.

Stay Active

It can be tough to stay active in winter, the air is cold, and the streets are icy, so unless you want to take out an expensive gym subscription, you might find your exercise routine disrupted. When this happens, you backslide, start putting weight back on, and notice other adverse changes.

The good news is you don’t need a gym or a winter running track to stay active and maintain your health throughout the winter months; all you need is a yoga mat and fifteen minutes every day to keep your body active and in tune. Download an app for some effective micro-workouts.

Plan Ahead

Fitness planning is the key to maintaining a winter routine that works. When you don’t have a routine or any fitness goals, it’s all too easy to abandon your fitness plan for some extra time in bed or in front of the computer, but having a goal and a plan motivates you in the right ways.

Most people train two or three times a week, but you can train more frequently in short bursts to increase your stamina and strength quickly. One of the best ways to plan your fitness routine for the week is to use an app that reminds you of what you have coming up and then start training.

Stay Safe

One of the barriers to staying healthy in the winter is the safety aspect; the winter roads are covered in black ice, and the daylight hours and minimal, meaning you can be running in the dark most of the time. If you have to run in the dark, you need illumination and safe routes.

Safe routes are usually ones that have plenty of streetlighting and people around as observers and witnesses; while this is the safest strategy overall, there are still risks, especially from problem drivers on the road. Find out more about drinking laws in the area when route planning.

Right Gear

Having the right gear for your winter training is an important part of maintaining your physical health throughout the most challenging season. If you are a runner, the right gear means the right running shoes for slippery surfaces, the right jacket to maintain temperature, and more.

Of course, the right gear might look different depending on the type of activity; a cyclist, for instance, might also need proper illumination and a reliable crash helmet; that said, any outdoor activity in the winter will require some lights and warm clothing that is also suitable for training.

How to Look After Mental Health in Winter

Mental health is another crucial foundation for overall health in winter. Many people experience a dip in winter health during this period, so you need to work a little harder to maintain your well-being. Staying active helps, but so do meditation and eating a balanced and nutritious diet.

Natural Light

Natural light is a key element in our health and well-being; it is essential for producing vitamin D in our systems – a vitamin that is not naturally produced in the body – and for regulating our circadian rhythms, the sleep-wake cycle that repeats every twenty-four hours on average.

During the winter, there is less natural light around; in some parts of the world, the clocks change, so there is more light in the morning and less in the evening, so the short afternoon is the only time to absorb natural light. Try consuming more vitamin D and using a solar lamp.

Talking Therapy

Spending time indoors on your own or in close proximity to loved ones can be nice, but it can also be stressful. Additionally, winter is a time of low-light levels and changes to the circadian rhythms and brain chemicals which can lead to low moods, anxiety, and sometimes depression.

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If you detect some of these symptoms in your life this winter, don’t ignore them, these are the warning signs that your mental health is not optimal and might require some attention. The best option is to find a suitable therapist online or in your local area; one very good app is BetterHelp.

Some Meditation

One of the best ways to combat mental health issues is by using talking therapies, but another way is to use mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-based stress reduction uses nine attitudes to help navigate situations; these include non-judging, acceptance, patience, and a beginner’s mind.

Mindfulness can be practiced formally and informally, and both of these have their merits. A formal practice should take place in a comfortable seating position across a 30-40 minute period. Informal practice can take place anywhere at any time by bringing attention to breathing.

Wholesome Food

Don’t forget about the food you consume this winter; make it wholesome and delicious, and you will support your physical and mental health as well as your immune system. Wholesome food is easy to find in the winter because of the seasonal root vegetables and the delicious recipes.

One of the most wholesome foods to eat in the winter is a soup which is delicious and nutritious. Soup is packed with nourishing vitamins and minerals; it is also warm and varied as part of a balanced diet. Coming a close second to soup is winter stew which is also hearty and healthy.

How to Look after Family’s Health in Winter

Winter well-being is a personal endeavour, but you can’t ford to forget about your family either. Family health is paramount in winter, but you can use many of the same ideas and strategies for your family as you do for yourself. Make sure they have a balanced diet and a medical checkup.

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is always important for your family and their well-being, but it’s even more important in the winter when the immune system is more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. The immune system is the collection of cells and tissues that identify and protect against threats.

When you eat a balanced diet, you make sure that the cells and tissue in your immune system are receiving the correct proteins and amino acids to build strong defenses. Colds and flu are a normal part of the winter season, but you can avoid the worst of them with simple eating habits.

Physical Activity

Maintaining good physical activity is another excellent way to support the health and well-being of your family. Staying physically active builds up physical and mental endurance to sustain productivity levels throughout the winter. There are several ways to encourage family activity.

If your family enjoys sports and fitness activities, there is not much you need to do; simply encourage them in the right direction. Alternatively, you can encourage them to join you on a winter nature walk where you can enjoy bonding in the fresh air with some stunning vistas.

Inspiring Travels

The winter can be a time of low moods and darkness, meaning you have to work extra hard to inspire your family. If life becomes a little mundane in the winter or you have a family member that’s prone to seasonal affective disorder, why not head for some inspiring travels overseas?

The winter is an excellent time to travel to the southern hemisphere and top up your natural vitamin D levels while your neighbors and colleagues are switching their diets. Alternatively, you could travel north and enjoy the beauty of the ski slopes in Scandinavia or in Canada.

Medical Checks

The winter season is the perfect time for a health checkup for your family, so why not book an appointment with your local clinic for influenza jags, a height and weight test, and a blood test to check for optimal vitamin and mineral levels? Medical checks are not necessary but are helpful.

In addition, it is essential to prioritize regular dental care for the whole family during winter. To ensure optimal oral health, consider the need for a family dentist who can address preventative measures, routine check-ups, and any dental concerns.

When you have an updated medical record, you know what is lacking and what is not in your family; you can then make decisions about how to optimize your winter well-being for the best results. In the age of analytics, there is no sense in still relying on guesswork for family health.

Some Final Thoughts

Winter is a time of low light levels, low temperatures, and icy roads; it is also a time for warm family relations, festive cheer, and plenty of nourishing food to eat. If you want to avoid the worst of the season and enjoy the highlights even more, stick to the general advice in the article above, this advice covers all of the foundational elements when it comes to health and wellness.