By Sanjana Ramachandran
The temperature drops, you catch a cold and you stay bedridden for weeks without getting up and moving and soon you spiral into loneliness. Yes, winter is the season of poor health. However, in order to be happy and enjoy the winter truly, you must keep healthy. Thus, I have written this article to help you all out there to survive the last weeks of winter.
Here are the five key ingredients to winter healthiness:
1. Get out and socialize with friends- Winter is a time when you tend to stay at home and not do much as you can’t be bothered to go out because it is too cold. However, social interactions are of high importance to our mental health to reduce our risk of having depression or anxiety. According to the Australian Department of Health, people who connect with friends may produce less of the stress hormone called cortisol. My favourite place to hang out with friends during winter is the local shopping mall because we can protect ourselves from the frosty outdoors and munch on some yummy popcorn and enjoy a movie!
2. Eat nutritious food: Winter is a time when we cheat on ourselves. According to the UK magazine Vitality, eating a lot of food makes us warmer as calories in the body add more energy in it to increase metabolism that releases hormones to keep us warm. However, eating foods high in sugars and fats can increase our blood sugar levels and thus lead to obesity. When the urge to munch takes hold, fill up on healthy soups, stews and fibre-rich vegetables and fruits along with proteins to protect your physical health.
3. Participate in indoor workouts: Again, exercise is very important for us in order to reduce our risks of having illnesses like obesity and cardiovascular disease. If you have no motivation to go for a morning run like you did in summer, there is a solution to this. There are plenty of workout videos on YouTube that can replace those morning runs. Such videos offer a variety of workouts ranging from Yoga, strength training, aerobics and other body-weight exercises.
4. Wash your hands frequently: Colds and flu are common in winter. According to the Western Australian Department of Health, more than 200 viruses cause the common cold. Thus, frequent handwashing is a must in maintaining your health during winter. It not only protects your immune system and prevents you from developing a cold or flu but also protects those around you.
5. Sleep longer and better: With shorter days and colder nights, it can be difficult to sleep or get out of bed. When the days get shorter, the body will naturally adjust its rhythm to the daylight hours. Use the longer evenings to wind down and begin relaxing and thus give it enough rest during the time when it craves it the most.
Most importantly, don’t leave your jumpers and jackets at home!