With icicles in view, the holiday season approaching, and the days getting shorter, finding the motivation to stay healthy, safe, and fit can be difficult. Kicking back once in a while and spending a wintry day in your cozy pajamas, sipping hot chocolate, and watching Netflix in bed is perfectly fine. However, most of us turn the "once in a while" into a whole season of lazy evenings on the couch, lots of carbs, and little to no self-care.
The weather conditions that we face during the colder months bring a number of safety risks we're not even aware of. Work and school environments can become minefields for your immune system, with viruses and bacteria abounding on every surface just like snowflakes. In addition, most of us neglect our healthy eating habits and sacrifice workout sessions for warm movie nights indoors and alarm snoozes in the morning. And then comes the winter blues.
Nevertheless, there are countless ways to battle the winter blues, annoying viruses, holiday weight gain, and a lack of motivation.
Below we’ve listed the top five ways to help you stay healthy, fit, and safe during this holiday season and beyond.
Work out at home
It’s common and understandable to feel less motivated during the cold winter months. The last thing you want to do on a chilly December morning is to get out of bed early to hit the gym or a park trail. The good news is that there are many simple ways to increase your physical activity and get back in shape. Try bringing your fitness routine indoors by shifting from using an escalator or elevator to running or walking up and down the stairs in your house or apartment building. This intense cardio and leg workout is a great alternative to your daily 30-minute gym session. And after you’ve indulged in some of Santa's holiday magic, get to work burning those calories and building muscles by shovelling snow, building a snowman, or even participating in a snowball fight. Keeping up with your fitness routine in the winter will improve your mood, protect you from viruses, and help you keep up with your weight loss goals.
Besides exercising, you need to take care of your diet if you want to prevent excessive weight gain and virus attacks and keep your body happy, healthy, and beautiful. Incorporate food rich in fibre like oats, apples, and nuts to increase anti-inflammatory proteins and thereby strengthen your immune system and boost protection against colds and viruses. Just because the oversized sweaters may help us to forget about staying in shape doesn't mean that you should give in to eating junk food all winter long. Explore a delicious healthy food delivery option with the convenience of monthly meal plans and say goodbye to daily stresses about what and how to prepare a healthy meal. Even for the busiest and laziest of us, this is a great way to feel, look, and eat healthy during the dreary winter months.
Frosty winter days can be a dangerous and even worse enemy to our skin than a hot summer season. Low temperature, blustery weather, and indoor heating can dry out our skin, leaving it rough, itchy, and flaky. This is why skin problems and disorders, like eczema, are more common in the winter. Simple tricks such as avoiding hot and soapy water, chemical products, and laundry detergents and softeners with artificial fragrances can help you keep your skin healthy and ward off winter. Don't forget to invest in body care products, such as oil and cream moisturizers, facial serums, and body scrubs, since your skin will need some pampering this winter.
Just to be clear, we're not advising you to indulge in a winter-long hibernation, but instead try committing yourself to a moderately extended and improved sleep schedule during the season of colder and shorter days. Your body naturally shifts to a different tempo, adjusts its rhythms to the hours of daylight, and requires more rest. Therefore, and especially if you're a night owl kind of person, try to use the long evenings for extra sleep instead of staying up late or pulling all-nighters to make sure your mind and body get enough rest.
Feed your soul
Mood disorders and depressive symptoms are very likely to be detected in the winter season. Shorter days, frequent stay-at-home weekends, and a weakened immune system are some of the causes for the winter blues. Therefore, taking care of your mental wellbeing and giving yourself a break from time to time is a precondition for a healthy and happy winter. Mood-boosting foods and teas with calming effects, such as chamomile or green tea, will help feed your soul as well as your body. Indulge in activities that help you unwind, relax, and free your mind of the holiday season stress. Socialize, go skating, go hiking, schedule a spa treatment, or get yourself an early Christmas gift!
With New Year's Eve approaching and the charming Christmas spirit and lovely decorations everywhere, you can't afford to get sick, overweight, or depressed. It's the happiest time of the year – so take note of the tips above to help you stay well but also feel and look amazing during the cold, dark months of winter.
Guest post by Stella Van Lane
About the Author
Stella van Lane is a passionate writer in love with coffee, chocolate, music, books and good vibes. Her top interests are health, yoga, meditation and interior design. Follow Stella on Twitter.
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