Your go-to guide for staying healthy, happy, and illness-free during the winter months! The lesser known tips and tricks for staving off cold and flu season and keeping well thru the winter.
Thanks to Scotties for sponsoring this discussion.
Shorter days, more time spent cooped up inside…PLUS cold and flu season? Your immune system has a lot to deal with during the winter months. Not only do people tend to get more colds and coughs during this time of year, but the lack of sunshine can have a big effect on your mood and physical health.
I’ll be honest, the winter is my LEAST favorite time of year. I thrive on being outdoors, being active, and breathing fresh air. All of that gets a little tougher and less enjoyable as the weather gets worse! I definitely get a little stir crazy during the long winter months we have here in Buffalo. The only thing that makes it worse? Being SICK! Nothing makes the cold less bearable than having a cold. The congestion, the headaches, the runny nose, the stifled taste buds (the WORST for a food lover!), the constant shivers, and the painful coughs! YUCK.
In the past, I used to get sick this time of year like clockwork. Chronic sinus infections and never-ending colds plagued me through the whole season. But now, things are much better! I take extra care of my health this time of year and implement specific habits to boost my immune system, up my nutrition, and make sure my body is getting extra care to deal with the harsh environment. Since I’ve found a bunch of things that work well to keep me healthy, I thought you all might be interested in learning my Top Five Tips for Winter Wellness!
Read on to stay well…
Wash Your Hands
How classic is this advice? The fact is, it’s so simple that people sometimes forget its importance! Sure we all do it (or at least I hope you do!) after we use the restroom, but washing your hands throughout the day is important to stay healthy. It’s simple hand washing that can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. It’s one of the easiest, most effective ways to avoid getting sick. I keep antibacterial handy all day and make sure to sanitize after grocery shopping, when leaving the gym, and when I’m out and about during the day. You don’t realize how many germs you come into contact with on a daily basis and just being more mindful of hand cleanliness can really make a difference! Another tip? Try not to touch your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth with your fingers throughout the day. You nail beds harbor a lot germs that can then make their way into your body through open areas. If you do have to touch your face, I recommend using a Scotties Triple Soft Tissue! (more on that below! 😉 )
Eat the Rainbow
Although it’s not really the season for certain fruits and veggies, make sure you’re filling yourself with lots of colorful produce! Whether it’s frozen or fresh, produce is the most important health tool money can buy. Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables will ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need, which is especially important in the winter when there is less sunlight and less time outside. There’s a lot of amazing root vegetables back in season and local farmer markets are stocked with kale, broccoli, apples, cauliflower, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potato. A healthy, nutrient dense diet is the best defense against sickness of any kind.
BONUS: Eat immune boosting foods!
Yes the winter weather is less than ideal. Especially in some parts of the country where it can be completely debilitating! But make an effort to get outside in the light and fresh air at least once a day. Not only is it good for replenishing your vitamin D needs (a key nutrient that aids our immune system and that most people become deficient in during the winter), but it also gets you out of the house! Being cooped up in the house for too long is not good for your psyche or your body. During the winter, mold and can build up in the house. This can trigger congestion, respiratory infections, wheezing, coughing, and even asthma attacks for those that have the disease. So get up, get out, and….
Move Your Body
Exercise is important all throughout the year, but even more so in the winter when we are naturally more sedentary. I’ve already given you some tips on how to stay active this winter, but let me explain why it’s important for your overall wellness. A regular workout routine is actually prime booster for your immunity. It REDUCES the risk of cold and flu, while improving your mood and raising your energy levels that can be so easily zapped in the winter. Not to mention it’s an automatic heat builder! You can be your own heat source when you work up a sweat. 🙂
Check out this post on why WALKING is one of the most underrated forms of exercise!
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a REAL THING! And it can affect a lot more than just your mood. Fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, and even physical discomfort can result from the changing of the seasons. The best way to beat the winter blues is to get outside daily (as I mentioned above), but also bolster your diet! Incorporate nutrient dense foods like kale and fresh herbs as often as possible. Foods that are high in calcium and magnesium are said to improve stress levels, lift you out of SAD-related moods, and overall keep you more healthy and happy.
In the off chance I do catch a cold, I always have Scotties new Triple Soft tissues on hand to use for my runny nose. The new Triple Soft variety has with three layers of softness for added comfort and protection. I also love the new chic, stylish box designs that fit seamlessly with the decor at my apartment! Neutral colors and interesting eye catching patterns make them the perfect addition to every room in my space.
They are so soft and high quality that my nose never gets dry or irritated when I use Scotties…no matter how much I blow or wipe my nose. Gotta love it!!
Do you take extra precautions with your health in the winter?
What’s your favorite winter wellness tip?
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