5 Simple Ways To Beat The Winter Woes
Colds & flus, seasonal depression, weight gain…sometimes staying healthy in the winter seems challenging!
Luckily there are some simple things you can do help you avoid these winter woes.
You don’t need to wait until spring to feel better!
1. Take vitamin D.
This one is particularly important if you struggle with low mood or frequent infections in the winter…
And this isn’t just for those of us that live far from the equator…People living in the southern states in the U.S. can also be vitamin D deficient because we all spend so much time indoors and wearing sunblock!
Even if you feel like your immune system is strong, you still want to make sure you’re not deficient. Since Vitamin D controls calcium in the body, it’s vital for strong bones.
The best way to increase your vitamin D is to get your baseline levels checked and then to recheck a few months after you start supplementing. If you aren’t able to get your levels checked, 2000 IUs is a good place to start…though more is often needed to get people into optimal range. So talk to your doctor about testing!
2. Join an exercise class.
An exercise class is a great way to kill lots of birds with one stone…
(That’s a terrible expression, I would never try to kill a bird. Can someone message me with a suitable replacement??)
You get a change of scenery…You go somewhere warm with music…You add structure to your workout…And you get some exercise!
Did you know…Regular exercise has been shown to work as well as anti-depressants in research studies?!
Exercising outdoors in the winter is hard for most and exercising at home often turns into cleaning the house, talking on the phone or wrestling with the dogs…
3. Cut out the sugar.
If there’s one food I can caution you against eating a lot of this winter is it SUGAR.
Having an occasional sweet, maybe weekly, is nothing to stress about…
Having sweet treats like cookies, candy & ice cream every day, or even multiple times a week, is going to contribute to weight gain in most people.
Excess sugar is also inflammatory and makes you more susceptible to colds and flus.
Try some grapefruit after meals instead…it’s a bit sweet and bitter enough to stimulate digestion!
4. Get a “happy lamp”.
Light therapy can be a great way to reduce seasonal depression symptoms.
And when your mood is better, your health in general will be better!
Light therapy boxes should be designed to filter out harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, but some may not filter it all out.
Look for a light therapy box that emits as little UV light as possible and if you have concerns about light therapy and your skin or eyes, talk to your dermatologist or other doctor.
5. Take vitamin C.
Vitamin C is anti-viral and supports your immune system.
I often recommend 2000mg daily and 2000mg 3-4x/day during times of illness (or exposure to illness, i.e. sick family members).
Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.