Winter can be one of the most exciting times of the year. From the anticipation of celebrating Christmas to the relief of cuddling up next to the warmth of the fireplace, winter is inarguably among the best feel-good seasons of the year. Although the end of fall may signify the start of one of the most exciting times of the year, winter also marks an increase in illness and health issues.
Taking care of your body throughout the year is essential, especially during the winter season. It's important to remember that a drop in the temperature outside does not have to correlate with your state of being. In fact, you can stay healthy this winter — even when you're stuck inside. Want to know how? Check out our top six steps for maintaining your health throughout this cold season.
Photo by Adobe Stock/AntonioDiaz
Keep Your Hands Squeaky Clean
It’s no secret that wintertime is also synonymous with flu season — which means all those nasty viruses and bacteria will be hanging around on public doors, chairs, tables, and virtually any surface. Make sure you double down against bacteria and germs this winter by washing your hands more than usual.
Keep a small hand sanitizer you can take with you on the go. Make sure your kids maintain a healthy practice of washing their hands, too. When it comes to soap, you don’t have to get too fancy. Just be sure to scrub your hands for a minimum of 30 seconds and dry them thoroughly with a clean hand towel or cloth each time.
Schedule Your Annual Flu Shot
Speaking of flu season, remember to schedule a doctor's appointment to get your winter flu shot every year. If you've had the misfortune of suffering through this unwanted viral infection, then you know that catching the flu is no joking matter. More than 1 million people contract influenza in a single year, contributing to nearly half a million hospital visits alone.
Getting the annual flu shot is an especially crucial necessity for pregnant women, the elderly, and new moms who require the added protection of this medication. Remember that your immune system is likely weaker during the winter season, so getting vaccinated makes your chances of contracting this unwanted illness far less likely.
Stay Active with Indoor Exercise
Break out those ‘90s workout tapes and jump ropes — it’s time to get physical, old-school style.
OK, so maybe you don't have to fish through your basement full of old workout VHS tapes — but just because you never worked up a sweat while moving to a classic Richard Simmons video doesn't mean you can't enjoy a more modern home workout now.
Being active is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle. At least 30 minutes of physical activity a day helps ward off diseases, lowers your blood pressure, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Working out is a fantastic way to boost your feel-good endorphins, as well, so you can successfully beat the winter blues.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Unlike warm, sunny summer days that beckon you to go outside and enjoy some fresh air, you’re much more likely to remain inside throughout the cold winter season.
Be sure to invest in the proper winter air filtration to keep your air both healthy and fresh. Consider filling your home with beautiful indoor fauna to filter out impurities and gases that make rooms susceptible to mold. For a more immediate effect, purchase a quality air purifier that helps recirculate clean air.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished
Nothing hits the spot quite like an ice-cold glass of fresh water, especially on a hot summer day. When the weather outside is colder than even the coolest of beverages, it’s hard to reach that same level of gratification.
While drinking a tall, refreshing glass of your favored drink may be the last thing on your mind this winter season, remember that staying hydrated it still a vital component of maintaining your health.
Although drinking hot chocolate is tasty, make sure you don't swap water out for sugary drinks instead. A glass or two of a fizzy or sweet drink is OK every now and again, but drinking water is a top priority because of its vital function in keeping your body in check. Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water per day to boost your immune system and prevent a dry or scratchy throat.
Meditate to Keep Stress at Bay
Did you know that stress weakens your immune system and can create fatigue, as well as unwanted pain? While stress obviously takes its toll on your mental health, it can also create harmful effects on your body. Add the lack of sunshine to the mix and the anxiety just seems to accumulate. When tensions continue to rise, and stress starts to accumulate, just take a long deep breathe — literally.
Meditation is a simple way to obtain mindfulness so you can continue your day without feeling tense. It's important to keep your body in optimum shape this winter — mental health included. Best of all, meditation requires no equipment (or money) and can be done virtually anywhere you go. Whenever you start to feel stressed out, just sit back, relax, and take a breather or two.Maintaining your health throughout the winter season is crucial. After all, you want to be in top shape to go on those summer cruises and vacations once the weather breaks — don’t you? Make the best of things by keeping yourself and your family healthy this winter — even when you're stuck inside.