Looking for ways to stay healthy this winter? There are numerous proactive steps that you can take today to boost your health in the months ahead.
How to Stay Healthy This Winter
From watching what you eat to making some minor lifestyle changes, you are in control of your health as winter makes an appearance.
Here are a few of the best things that you can do to boost your immunity so that you can maintain a strong immune system and weather the illnesses that become more prevalent during the winter months.
Focus on Vitamin D
It is not unusual to become deficient in vitamin D during the winter. Because this nutrient is primarily obtained through the sun, it becomes more challenging to take in sufficient amounts when the mercury drops. The good news is that you can ensure that you are getting enough of this essential nutrient by taking a supplement. The body needs sufficient amounts of vitamin D to absorb calcium, keep the immune system working at optimal levels and maintain strong bones.
Reduce Stress Levels
Short bursts of stress are actually healthy for the body, as the accompanying release of cortisol can work to boost immunity. However, too much stress can wreak havoc on your health. There are a number of ways that you can be intentional about reducing stress in your life. Meditation, exercise and acts of self-care are all good techniques to try to lower your stress level and improve your health this winter.
Take Prebiotics and Probiotics
Many health-conscious individuals have discovered the power of taking prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are defined as the good bacteria that live in your body, helping to improve immunity and regulate a number of digestive and related functions. Conversely, prebiotics are the food that these bacteria need to flourish and thrive.
While it is a good idea to take a prebiotic and probiotic supplement at all times of the year, it is especially important during the cold and flu season. Give your body the extra helping hand it needs by taking these supplements during the winter months.
Be Intentional About Getting Enough Sleep
You cannot expect your body to function at optimal levels if it is sleep-deprived. Being purposeful about getting enough sleep is one of the best things that you can do to ward off illness in the coming months. Not only does a lack of sleep make you more susceptible to falling ill, but it also can make it more difficult to rebound when you do become sick. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep to keep the immune system firing on all cylinders.
Although many people understand the importance of staying hydrated during the hot summer months, this often takes a backseat during the winter. Even if you are not working up a sweat, you still need sufficient amounts of water to remove harmful toxins from the body. It is a good idea to get in the practice of carrying around a refillable water bottle so that you always have something to drink within arm’s reach.
Practice Good Personal Hygiene
One thing that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized is that there is no substitute for good personal hygiene. Washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face is a good start. This will help to stop the spread of germs, keeping you and everyone around you healthy.
Stay on Top of Checkups and Vaccinations
In addition to practicing good personal hygiene, you also need to be diligent about staying on top of your regular physical checkups. This includes keeping up with your recommended vaccines. Do not discount the power of a simple flu vaccine to keep you healthy this winter.
While it may sound cliché, it is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Your personal healthcare provider will be able to provide you with the necessary guidance.
Nourish Your Body with Whole Foods
There is no substitute for a nutritious diet when it comes to staying healthy. Whole foods should be the cornerstone of your diet. Focus on making sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. At the same time, you need to be mindful about your consumption of processed foods, refined sugars and alcohol. As with everything in life, a healthy diet is all about balance.
Do not let the cold weather stop you from exercising. Countless research studies point to the benefits of regular exercise for the immune system. Exercise can reduce levels of chronic inflammation, improve immune response and reduce stress. All of these factors will influence your overall health and wellness over the course of the winter.