For some people, the winter season is their favorite time of the year. Yet, some others find this period of the year more challenging and demanding. Family dinners, Thanksgiving parties, and holiday breaks, all keep us occupied and busy to the extent that we forget to take care of our health and diet. The irony of the situation is that winter holidays, which are meant to make us active and more productive for work afterward, actually, end up leaving us more tired and exhausted than usual. People usually lack the motivation to begin working after the holidays. Some people also experience feelings of extreme lethargy and even depression associated with winter.
The key to tackling this whole situation is recognizing your health patterns and reasons for low energy before the winter begins and then addressing those reasons. The following tips can help you attain maximum productivity and maximum excitement from the upcoming winter season.
Though the winter season increases the chances of injury, the bigger problem is giving up your regular exercise routine. Winters mostly make people less worried about their exercise and fitness, as most people get so involved in planning their vacations and upcoming celebrations that they overlook their health requirements and exercise needs. To stay healthy to enjoy all felicitations of winter, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and proper exercise. Research data shows that almost 20% of the population of the United States is affected by the flu every year. Many cases were reported in Manhattan, Bronx, and Brooklyn recently. Winter has more potential to cause colds and flu than any other season. The following diet and exercise tips can help us:
1. Control Your Carb Cravings:
Winters generally increase our carbohydrate cravings. More carbs lead to increased levels of serotonin, which makes us happier. Thus, to achieve more happiness, the body generally craves more carbs. The solution is to increase the number of proteins in your breakfast to keep you working all day. To deal with further cravings, keep with you low-fat, low-carb snacks to eat in small portions throughout the day.
2. Omega Three Fatty Acids
Omega-three fatty acids are found naturally in fish, nuts, seeds, etc. They are anti-inflammatory. They also reduce depression, which many people feel during the winter due to shorter days.
3. Add Mushrooms to Your Diet
Many species of mushrooms are famous for their immune-boosting qualities. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics that help our bodies fight invading microorganisms. Mushrooms help us fight many diseases by strengthening the immune system. Mushrooms are thus, a very good investment for winter and should be part of your grocery list throughout the winter.
4. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is naturally found in vegetables and fruits. Foods like apples, nuts, and oats have the property to strengthen the general immunity of the body. Fibers also help to reduce the cholesterol level in our body thus, preventing weight gain. Increasing the fiber intake in your diet in winter will help to protect your digestive system and will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the winter season.
5. Focus More on Green and Orange Vegetables
Carrots, oranges, kale, and spinach are all delicious and nutritious foods that you should invest in during the winter season. These green and orange vegetables contain all the nutrients to boost your energy level during winter.
6. Addition of Spices to Food
Onion, ginger, and garlic add delicious flavor to your recipes, and they also have the properties to boost immunity. Turmeric is also an ideal ingredient to add to your dishes. It was used in Chinese and Indian recipes because of its anti-inflammatory properties. These powerful spices should become part of your kitchen, especially near winter.
7. Exercises Should be Planned
Since winter is the time when you are more prone to skipping exercise. The advice is to plan your exercise for the entire next week every Sunday. Knowing what you are scheduled to do during the whole next week will help you stick to the routine of exercising daily. This will also make your time more manageable.
8. Plan Your Workouts at Home
Winters normally make us more comfort-loving. People prefer to stay indoors in a cozy environment most of the time. What you can do is, before the arrival of winter, plan various indoor workouts for you. The Internet can help you to find the best workout according to the needs of your body. Moreover, in various primary care centers, physiotherapists or fitness experts can help you plan a healthy lifestyle. You can avail of their services to achieve a better outcome. Indoor workouts might include activities like aerobics, yoga, bodyweight exercises, etc.
9. Installation of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
We often forget the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. One of the most important preparations for winter is installing or maintaining your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It should be noted that the majority of house fires are reported in winter. Many of the victims do not sustain life after such house fires. Because of the massive drop in temperature outside, people keep their heaters on throughout the day. It is important to have functioning detectors because staying indoors a lot also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In a nutshell, winter is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. To enjoy this season fully, one needs a healthy body and a healthy mind. Due to various occasions in winter, the holidays become especially important for all of us. To spend holidays with maximum excitement and to enjoy every moment of winter, we need to take a few precautionary measures before winter arrives. Look through your ingredients in the kitchen and add winter-friendly foods and spices to your grocery list. Amidst the excitement of planning trips and wrapping gifts, do not forget to stick to your exercise routine. Brace yourselves because WINTER IS COMING!!
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More