Stay Well In Winter
Those crisp mornings and cold nights are slowly creeping up on us, staying warm and cozy in bed and hearty comfort food is all we want. With the colder months ahead our health practices dwindle and there is higher risk of viruses including the flu. In the current environment our health should be our priority not only for ourselves but for our community. So here are some tips to stay healthy throughout the winter so you can continue achieving your goals.
Sounds obvious right! Remember when your mum would tell you to “rug up or you will catch a cold!”, although the common cold is not directly linked to being cold, prolonged cold exposure can have an impact on our immune system and scientists at Yale have found that the virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in colder temperatures. So as a first step, dig out those jumpers and keep yourself warm then start considering how to winter proof your home.
Eat Nutritious Food
Soups, casseroles and roasts tend to become the staples as the nights get colder. There is nothing wrong with a one pot wonder, but why don't we take the opportunity to boost them with some nutritional powerhouses. The beauty with cooking in one big pot is we can fit more of a variety of vegetables in. Try adding in season vegetables like carrots and pumpkin both high in Vitamin C, we want to see those greens, so cut up some silverbeet spinach and broccoli for a good dose of iron. To add to this amazing mixing pot of colour some capsicums for vitamin A and tomatoes for packed full of lycopene and potassium. To top all this off try adding lots of garlic to your food which when cut produces allicin, a strong antibacterial and anticancer property. Garlic tastes great amongst almost all your winter warmers but has also been shown to combat symptoms of the flu.
Research shows moderate amounts of exercise such as jogging, brisk walking and resistance training during the cold and flu season can help boost your body's defences against the virus. When we get our body moving we help increase and mobilize white blood cells which combat infection. Try to aim for an average of 30min per day, double up on those health benefits and head outside for a dose of vitamin D while on your walk. Vitamin D is critical for bone health but is also a strong combatant against the flu.
This should be the easiest one on the list, but sometimes life gets in the way (Netflix, kids) and our sleeping habits go out the door. Research shows that poor sleep quality increases our risk of infection from viruses like the common cold, sleep is involved in the regeneration of our immune cells, these little guys are the ones combating the virus.
So we know sleep is important, but how can i get a good night's rest?
Try limiting media exposure immediately before bed and opt for a novel and dim some lights. Eating a large meal right before clocking off also isn't the best idea, try and aim to have your meal about 2hrs before calling it a night. And lastly you want your room to feel comfortable and be the sleeping paradise it should be, try using curtains to limit any external light and tidy up the clutter.