When the weather is cold and the days are short, it’s easy to not prioritize your health. However, setting manageable goals leads to better habits and a healthier winter.
Here are some simple diet, exercise and lifestyle tips to help you maintain a healthy winter season.
Start Your Day Off Right With A Healthy Breakfast
Swap the sugary cereals for a creamy, flavorful yogurt. Research shows that a carton of yogurt can help prevent osteoporosis, reduce risk of high blood pressure, and aid gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and constipation.
When buying yogurt, look for low-fat, low-sugar options that contain active cultures and vitamin D.
Set Realistic Fitness Goals
Fitness goals don’t have to include going to the gym 5 days a week. For healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
That can include anything from going for a walk to an at-home workout.
Easy ways to get your daily steps in:
- Walk laps around the mall. If you shop, take your packages to your car after every store.
- Go for a family walk and play a game as you stroll to keep everyone occupied.
- Set a fitness goal, such as a 5k, to keep yourself motivated.
- Online resources, such as YouTube and Pinterest, offer free fun workout content that can be done at home.
Look for Snacks with Omega 3 Fatty Acids or Fiber
Craving an afternoon snack? Omega 3 fatty acids
are a healthy type of fat that’s naturally found in many plant seeds and nuts. They can help reduce joint pain and stiffness as a natural anti-inflammatory. Studies show that Omega 3 fatty acids aid in lowering levels of depression
, which people commonly feel in the shorter days of winter.
Meanwhile eating foods with soluble fiber – often found in apples, oats and nuts – is an easy way to decrease inflammation and boost your immune system. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and aids in weight loss and protection against diabetes
Cook Recipes with Mushrooms, Spices and Vegetables
Next time you’re planning what to cook for dinner, look for recipes that include mushrooms, spices and/or vegetables. All three are important ingredients to boost your immunity and fight off illness.
White button and shitake mushrooms are two particular varieties of mushrooms that have naturally-occurring antibiotics
. This gives them medicinal properties to help fight off many types of illnesses.
When it comes to produce, look for vegetables and fruits that are dark green and orange to ensure you’re getting healthy nutrients, sugars and fats
. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, squash, carrots and oranges are all healthy seasonal options during the winter.
Lastly, spices such as onions, garlic, ginger and cilantro not only add flavor to your dishes, but help improve immune function
. Turmeric, a spice traditionally used in Chinese medicine, has been known to help combat a number of conditions including inflammation and heart disease.
Why do I feel more tired in the winter?
During the short winter days, your body naturally wants to sleep longer to adjust to the hours of daylight. Use the longer evenings to wind down, put the phone away and begin relaxing before bed.
If you have trouble winding down, look into herbal teas for help. Lemon and chamomile tea can ease depression and anxiety by calming nerves and relaxing your body.
Go to bed early to give your body enough rest when it craves it most.