- The winter season presents a variety of challenges to both physical and mental health, including vitamin deficiencies, seasonal affective disorder, dry skin, and stress.
- Exercising in the winter may help you burn more calories as your body works to maintain your core temperature.
- Multivitamins are an excellent way to counteract vitamin deficiencies even despite lack of vitamin D and other crucial nutrients in the wintertime.
Fun Ideas For Staying Healthy In The Winter
Whether you look forward to cold weather and holidays or not, there’s no denying that winter can be a challenging time of the year to endure. Kept inside by freezing temperatures and tantalized by unhealthy food choices at gatherings with family and friends, many people find staying healthy in the winter to be quite difficult.
Even if you forged some healthy habits during the summertime, it may not be easy to carry them over into a new season where you face new challenges. Common struggles that people run into during the colder months of the year might include limited time spent outdoors, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), overly dry skin, extra stress from accidents or busy schedules, and even general boredom. If you find yourself having trouble with any of these scenarios when winter rears its head, our collection of winter health tips may be able to help you.
In this article, we will talk about preparing for winter and overall winter health so you can learn how to stay healthy at home and while you’re out and about in the winter season. You can check out our respective articles on winter wellness and summer wellness for even more helpful information. Now, let’s get into it!
Staying Healthy Through Winter
In some cases, staying healthy through winter involves following similar habits to your summer wellness routines. Nutrition is an excellent example. In both summer and winter, you should aim to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables that can provide a healthy supply of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. While this feels simple in summer thanks to the diverse amount of fruits available, varying your meals in winter can feel like a daunting task.
However, contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables available in winter as well! Anyone wondering how to keep healthy in winter should definitely look into purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in season during the colder months. Examples include grapefruit, kiwis, mandarins, oranges, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower (1). You may even be able to make a tropical smoothie that helps melt away some of the winter blues.
How To Stay Healthy And Fit During Winter
If you’re someone who dreads working out normally, then you might find yourself dreading it even more when the colder months roll around. But why is it hard to workout in winter? Weather certainly plays a role in making exercise difficult, with snow and cold temperatures occasionally trapping you indoors. In fact, if you prefer to exercise outdoors or via sports normally, you may be wondering how to exercise in the winter without going to the gym. You might be surprised to know that there are plenty of alternatives that can keep you active while avoiding that gym membership. We suggest trying out some of these tips as you begin forming your very own winter workout routine (2):
- Gear up and layer up. You need to be prepared for both the weather and the activity level of your exercise. For more active exercises like running, you may want to wear a removable outer layer and a lightweight polyester for your innermost layer. Three layers (inner, insulating, and outer) should be suitable for most activities.
- Try different activities. If running isn’t your style, consider trying out some winter sports. Ice skating is a fun alternative that can be adjusted for your preferred activity level, from casual skating to playing hockey.
- Stay hydrated. Lower temperatures can sometimes cause you to feel less thirsty, increasing your risk of becoming dehydrated when exercising outside. Be sure to bring an ample supply of water with you, whether you’re headed out on a cross-country skiing adventure or simply shoveling the driveway.
The benefits of exercising in winter far outweigh any inconveniences you might face due to weather and other challenges. Exercising in cold weather could even help you burn more calories than usual, as your body kicks into a higher gear in order to regulate its temperature at the same time (3).
Winter Health Tips
The winter season can affect various aspects of your physical health, from diet to skincare. Check out this list of winter health tips that may help you live more comfortably this season:
- Winter tips for skin. The dry heat of your furnace can quickly dry out even the oiliest skin in the wintertime. Find a moisturizer that works for your skin type and apply it regularly. Switching from hot showers to lukewarm showers or even baths may also help your skin retain more moisture. The Mayo Clinic suggests incorporating a humidifier, if necessary (4).
- Winter tips for students. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, even during the holidays. Sleep is an essential part of fighting off illness and refreshing the mind, two aspects of health that are frequently put at risk in the wintertime. More regular sleep may also improve concentration (5).
- Winter safety tips for employees. No matter whether you work indoors or outdoors, remember to wash your hands frequently while at work to prevent the spread of germs. If you work outdoors, take breaks frequently as well and consume hot drinks to stay comfortable (6).
Winter wellness encompasses much more than just physical health. For various reasons, many people find it difficult to maintain their mental health during the cold months of the year. We suggest adding some of these assets to your winter wellness kit in order to help maintain healthy mental and emotional habits throughout the season:
- Multivitamin. Whether you’re cut off from the grocery store, eating unhealthy food from social gatherings, or not venturing outside to get your vitamin D, you may be at risk for vitamin deficiencies in the winter. Multivitamins are a convenient way to bring peace of mind when it comes to nutrition, as they can fill in those gaps as they form and help you maintain healthy levels of essential nutrients in your body.
- Essential oils. Among the top-rated winter wellness products, essential oils accomplish various purposes depending on the oils you select. Some, like peppermint, can clear your nasal passages while leaving you with an invigorated feeling. Just be sure to make sure you aren’t allergic to the oils before trying them.
- Journals. Journaling can be an effective way to relieve stress at any time of year. However, with more time trapped indoors, you may enjoy more freedom to journal in the winter, helping you establish a routine. Try getting cozy with a hot drink and a pen!
Safety Tips For Winter Season
Inclement weather and accidents can make winter a dangerous season for many who live in climates that experience the cold. In these areas, it is necessary to be prepared with safety tips for the winter season in order to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. Here are a few tips we recommend following this winter season:
- Outdoor winter safety tips. Wear sunscreen and dress appropriately with layers. Beware of icy walkways and paths. Throw down kitty litter or sand to prevent slipping. Hydrate when doing chores or exercising outside to avoid dehydration.
- Winter safety tips for home. Have your furnace inspected before you need to start using it. Make sure your typical safety measures are in working order, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check that your fireplace is properly ventilated.
- Winter workplace safety tips. Dress warm for your work commute in the event that you end up stranded outside and invest in quality tires for better handling in snowy or icy conditions. Leave for work early when possible to ensure that unexpected weather changes don’t make you late.
Best Way To Stay Healthy In The Winter
So, with all these tips to choose from, what’s the best way to stay healthy during winter? The answer really depends on you. According to your usual lifestyle, some health suggestions may be more effective than others. For example, if you normally live a particularly active lifestyle, then heading outside and participating in winter sports may be the best way to stay healthy in the winter. But, if you’re not someone who is accustomed to rigorous exercise or exercising in the cold, you may choose to go to the gym or perform less taxing exercises, like shoveling snow or taking a walk.
Your preferences may also change according to your family lifestyle. If you’re a parent, you may wonder how to keep your child healthy during winter. One of the most important things to remember for child safety in the winter is the layering rule. When dressing children for cold weather, you should add one more layer of clothing than an adult would typically wear, according to the Cleveland Clinic (7). For young children in particular, this can be crucial in making sure they stay safe on the way to school or while playing outside.
In short, you should try to seek out and build healthy habits that fit the unique needs and lifestyle of you and your loved ones. Choosing habits that simply don’t interest you or don’t fit into your schedule won’t be effective. Don’t feel obligated to try every single health tip given to you, but rather be selective and start by picking out a handful that make you excited!
- “7 Tips for Staying Healthy Over Winter.” Heart Foundation, 2022, https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/blog/7-tips-for-staying-healthy-over-winter.
- “How to Stay Active Outside When the Weather Gets Colder.” Cleveland Clinic, 17 December 2020, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-stay-active-outside-when-the-weather-gets-colder.
- “Bundle up: 5 Benefits of a Winter Workout.” North Central Surgical Center Hospital, 8 December 2015, https://www.northcentralsurgical.com/blog/bundle-up-5-benefits-of-a-winter-workout-96.html.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Humidifier Care 101.” Mayo Clinic, 11 June 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/health-tip/art-20048617.
- Andersen, Libby and Iona Parker. “Winter Health Tips for Your Student.” Seattle Pacific University, 2022, https://spu.edu/depts/parents/news/jan-13-feature.asp.
- “Working Safely in Cold Weather.” OSHA, 2022, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3982.pdf.
- “15 Simple Winter Safety Tips for Kids.” Cleveland Clinic, 11 December 2020, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/parents-know-these-winter-safety-tips.
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