5 Easy Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Go outside and enjoy the season!

Jan 13, 2020

(Claudia Paulussen / Shutterstock.com)

Winter means snowmen, skiing, and drinking hot cocoa by the fire. Winter is full of positive vibes!

During these shorter days and colder weather sometimes our health can take a backseat. Our winter habits can sometimes look more like bears hibernating if we sleep in and stay cozy indoors away from the wintry weather. 

But even if things tend to slow down during the winter it doesn’t mean letting ourselves go when it comes to health. Avoid the winter blues with these easy tips to staying healthy when it’s cold outside.

Get Outside

Despite what your mom told you, cold weather does not actually make you sick, germs do. In fact, according to Business Insider, spending time in the cold weather has some great health benefits. 

Your body has to work harder to stay warm, which helps burn calories (especially good for those who tend to eat or sit more during the winter). 

Not to mention, nature has wonderful benefits for your mental health. A Study from the University of Minnesota shows that spending time outdoors in natural settings reduces blood pressure, soothes stress, and improves your mood.

You can find all sorts of winter outdoor activities, too. When it snows, head outside for sledding, skiing, snowboarding, or just a walk in the winter wonderland. Just make sure to dress appropriately when going outside, and avoid extreme snowstorms or freezing cold temperatures.

(TravnikovStudio / Shutterstock.com)

Eat the Right Foods

The holiday season means lots of parties full of sugary delights and flowing drinks. But as much as we enjoy it, these kinds of foods and beverages can harm your health so stay intentional and indulge in moderation. 

You should also consider eating the kinds of foods that boost the immune system, especially during the height of flu and cold season. Immune boosting ingredients like garlic, ginger, onion, and apple cider vinegar will keep you feeling great when the temperatures drop.

(margouillat photo / shutterstock.com)

Stay Active

When the weather gets cold outside, it can seem a lot more attractive to stay bundled up on the coach to binge watch Netflix and order pizza. You can avoid heading to the gym as often during inclement weather when you need to shovel your car out first but inactivity all winter long can lead to weight gain and other negative health consequences.

So, get creative and look for enjoyable ways to stay active during the winter. If you like the outdoors, set aside time for skiing or snowboarding. If you get snowed in, try at-home workouts like yoga.

(Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com)

Take Vitamin D Supplements

We naturally absorb Vitamin D through sunlight exposure. Studies show that this important nutrient boosts the immune system, can prevent cancer and promotes blood and heart health. Meanwhile, deficiency of this sunshine vitamin can lead to muscle weakness, intensify bone loss, and increases the risk of fractures.

But nearly half of the adult population in the United States has a Vitamin D deficiency. Unless you live in a warm, sunny climate you could have a Vitamin D deficiency during the winter. 

Taking a Vitamin D supplement will ensure that you get enough of this important nutrient. The US Institute of Medicine recommends an average daily intake of a daily vitamin D intake of 1000–4000 IU, or 25–100 micrograms. You can’t put a price tag on health so investing in some supplements is worth the cost to feel great all winter long.

(Aleksandra Gigowska / Shutterstock.com)

Moisturize

If you live in a cold climate, the winter months can wreak havoc on your skin and hair when the humidity in the air drops. Indoor heating, long hot showers, and frequent hand washing can have an impact too.

To keep your skin looking and feeling its best, moisturize! Natural moisturizers like shea butter or coconut oil heal cracked skin and leave you smelling nice, too. Dryness could also cause hair breakage, so try to shampoo less or use leave-in conditioner. You may also consider lowering the thermostat or using a humidifier in the house to add moisture back into the air.

(Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock.com)

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.