7 useful tips on how to stay fit and healthy during winter

When did Daylight Saving Time start?
November 27, 2017
How to beat jet lag
December 19, 2017

7 useful tips on how to stay fit and healthy during winter

Discover 7 useful tips on how to look after your health during the cold winter months. Read more.

The temperature drops. The days get shorter. And the nights get darker.

Winter can be a miserable time, and those cold nights can seem long and never-ending.

That’s why it’s important to keep your health in check – both physically and mentally. Here are eight actionable tips on how to keep healthy during winter.

Boost your immune system

Colds and flu are rife during the winter months. It’s very rare you reach the welcome-warmth of spring without experiencing at least one case of the sniffles. You can boost your immune system by ensuring you get plenty of vital vitamins, including:

  • Vitamin A – found in apricots, broccoli, carrots, green peppers, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Vitamin C – found in cauliflower, kiwi, nectarines, sweet potato, and strawberries
  • Vitamin D – found in eggs, fortified breakfast cereal, mackerel, salmon, and sardines
  • Vitamin E – found in mango, nuts, sunflower seeds, apples, mushrooms, red grapes, and onions
  • Zinc – found in red meat, poultry, beans, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products
  • Selenium – found in Brazil nuts, walnuts, tuna, beef, and fortified breads

Avoid holiday bingeing

As winter comes around, so do the invites to festive parties and events. These often involve plenty of food and alcohol and if you find yourself with a busy festive period, your calorie and alcohol intake could mount up.
By all means, indulge in a nice dinner or a few drinks with friends or colleagues, but the trick here is moderation. And remember – the holiday season isn’t a free pass to avoid exercise. If anything, it’s crucial you maintain an exercise regime during this time to stay in shape, and to keep the festive calories in check.

Don’t oversleep

Dark mornings and dark nights might leave you in a state of lethargy and drowsiness, and make you prone to snooze the alarm too often in the mornings.

If you oversleep, you’re opening yourself up to a range of medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. Combat the urge to stay in bed by taking regular exercise, and make the most of the daylight hours by getting plenty of fresh air.

Eat plenty of fruit and veg

In the same way it shouldn’t halt your exercise regime, winter shouldn’t derail your diet. Don’t fall into the trap of eating stodgy comfort food just because it’s dark and cold.

There are plenty of vegetable-orientated dishes that serve as a hearty winter meal – such as a roast vegetable platter or a delicious winter stew.

Combat dry skin

Dry skin is made even worse in winter due to low environmental humidity. If you get dry skin and leave it untreated, you could end up with an itchy or painful rash, and the skin could even crack and bleed.You can stop this from happening by regularly moisturising your skin. The best time tends to be when your skin is still moist – so typically after a bath or shower. Also, water that’s too hot can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy, so be mindful of the temperature.

Treat yourself!

While it’s crucial not to over indulge, it’s important that you do treat yourself – whether that’s with a ‘cheat meal’ at home or a social outing with friends. Having things to look forward to can work wonders for your mental health during the winter, as the cold and dark is enough to get anyone down. Yet, as you’ve already discovered, the key is moderation. So keep on top of how many glasses of wine you’ve had and how many rich desserts you’re treating yourself to after dinner.