How to Stay Healthy During Winter

by: wme_admin on

 

Winter—beautiful and cold, those simple and majestic qualities remind us of wonderland fun and romance. However as we all know, the beautiful of something is like a double-edged sword, always a catch. In this season one of the hardest things to do is to stay healthy and more challenging is to stay fit. When temperatures drop tendencies are that the human body feels heavy, you tend to be a bit more sleepy than usual as you stay in the comfort of your warm cozy houses. Your body craves for carb-packed food more often as its way of packing in energy to produce heat for the body. After a good helping of toasted bread smothered with jam and a side of heavy creamed coffee or hot chocolate, you feel the bliss of a good life and later on feel drowsy. Letting this cycle continue might affect your immune system as those foods aren’t exactly raw, healthy products. At the end of winter you might also find that you’ve gained a bit of weight. What can we do then?

Focus on eating foods that are locally grown and in season; naturally your appetite will increase in the cooler months. Wholesome soups and casseroles jam packed with good quality protein and vegetables will do more than just fill you up. They will keep you nourished and satisfied.

First we target the most important armor of our body, we train it and enhance it to protect us from colds and other menacing sicknesses during cold weather. We boost our immune system. How? You might be surprised that some herbs do the trick:

Turmeric. This delicious earthy herb is mostly commonly known as the dominant ingredient in making curry. It has been used for its healthful properties as a source of vitamins and minerals and also a good source of a good source of vitamin C and potassium. It is said to help boost appetite and lower blood pressure. Adding at least a teaspoon (or more depending on how strong or weak you want the taste to be) in meat dishes or to your baked potatoes would greatly contribute to the building of your immune system.  Don’t be scared of adding raw turmeric into your morning Green Smoothie!

Ginger. This spicy and slightly tangy flavor almost immediately heats up the body. In Asian countries it’s used for cooking and medicinal purposes. Not only is it soothing, but also it contains anti-inflammatory agents, helps eliminate congestion, ginger root tea eases some throat pain and kills cold viruses. It’s an all-natural cold fighter that will assist your immune system in those unbearable cold nights. I also add this amazing herb into my morning smoothies.

While ginger and turmeric support the immune system we cannot forget that enough exposure to sunlight and getting enough vitamin D is also crucial for healthy cells. Since 2010, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D falls between 600 and 800 International Unit (IU) per day (based on age), but new research suggests adults may actually need at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day to maintain a healthy level in the body and reap the most benefits especially during winter. Now how do we get enough vitamin D that the body needs?

Sunlight. Vitamin D is best known as the sunshine vitamin, specifically the form D3. It is the only vitamin our body makes itself and this vitamin is actually a hormone. The best sunlight we can get in order for our body to produce its own D3 is through the morning sun. Sunlight from 7 to 10am is the best. You don’t even need to stand outside to get it. Just stay indoors and sit by the window where the sun comes in. Not that hard, right?

Consumption of vitamin D. You can get a natural form of vitamin D3 from foods such as egg yolks and fatty fish.

Now we have taken care of our cells and our immune system, we must remember that staying active during winter is still crucial. A machine that stays stagnant during the cold will have a hard time adjusting to the spring of the next year. So let’s get moving! Here are some advisable activities for the winter to keep healthy and fit!

Active play. If you can’t seem to muster the energy to work out, try “playing” like you did in childhood. The best part about playing is that it doesn’t feel like working out. The basic rule here is to have fun while moving that body. 

Yoga. One of my personal favouites! Yoga builds an internal heat. Its focused and controlled body movement that is not only building inner strength it will allow you to de-stress your mind, body and soul. Perfect for those cooler months.

Classics. Don’t want to destroy your routine? Then don’t! Hit the gym, keep that swimming going in indoor pools at a local health club, move to the beat of your Zumba class and push hard in your Pilates or kick boxing class. Who says you need to sacrifice your daily routine for the winter? As you’ve got the drive, keep doing what you love in whatever season there is. Always find the time, trash those excuses and make time and room in your life for the activities you know will keep your lively in this season.

The major issue that most people really face is lack of motivation. I know I love to train with a group of people!  Chilly mornings and a 5.30am alarm isn’t going to inspire you to jump out of bed with joy!. My motivation is when I have 4 or 5 people knocking on my door ready for a Tabata HIIT session..That’s all the motivation I need! In the end it’s all about decisions. Eat the foods that nourish your body, find the training that challenges you and keeps you motivated.