Now that the cold winter months are approaching, it’s important to know how to stay healthy during the winter months. The cold can bring with it new chances for diseases to spread, increased comfort eating, and other health problems that you must protect yourself from.
Fortunately, regular self-care can help fight off bad health during the winter months. To find out more about how to stay healthy during winter months, read on below to find out more!
1. Prioritize relaxation
The winter months can be a busy period for everyone. From buying gifts during the holiday season to attending and preparing holiday parties, it can be difficult to balance the holidays with regular work and school. This can lead to burnout and excess stress, which can lower your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Prioritize relaxation and reduce stress as much as possible. For instance, enjoy some calming ginger tea with honey while listening to relaxing music!
2. Bundle up and stay warm
Viruses that cause colds can spread easier through colder temperatures. It’s important to not just bundle up and stay warm to avoid hypothermia if you live in an extremely cold environment, but also crank up the heat in your home to avoid viruses spreading and making you sick.
3. Continue with regular check-ups
It can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Regular doctor offices might also be closed more days due to the holidays during the winter. If you’re wondering how to stay healthy during winter months, one of the most important steps to take is to continue to see your doctor for annual exams and for other issues such as getting sick during the winter.
4. Check with specialists if necessary
Your primary care provider is great at providing general care during the winter. However, it’s important to also talk to specialists if you experience other illnesses during the winter months. For instance, wearing warmer layers can put women at risk for getting a UTI, which they might need to visit a gynecologist for. This is just one example of why it’s important to visit specialists during the winter months in addition to your primary care provider.
5. Continue your oral hygiene routine
During the holidays and especially Halloween, you might indulge in more sugary sweets than before. This can put you at risk of developing cavities and tooth pain. If you want to know how to stay healthy during winter months, taking care of your dental health is vital for overall health. Visit a dentist if you’re experiencing toothaches or might have cavities, and steer clear of sweets as much as possible during the holidays.
6. Get regular exercise
One of the best answers to how to stay healthy during winter months is getting regular exercise. This might be difficult if you live in an area where it snows or rains and can’t exercise outside. If you visit an indoor gym, make sure to sanitize all equipment before and after you use it to prevent getting sick. Or better yet, do workouts at home, such as yoga, HIIT workouts, jump roping, and other in-home workouts you can easily find online. It’s recommended people get at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day.
7. Wash your hands frequently
During the winter months, many people can get sick and stay indoors, including in offices. It’s important to regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face to ensure you don’t catch other people’s illnesses. In addition to washing your hands, you should also sanitize surfaces, especially in communal areas such as lobbies, kitchens, and conference rooms.
8. Eat healthy meals
Meal prepping is a great way to stay fit for those wondering how to stay healthy during winter months. Even if you don’t meal prep and eat at restaurants, make sure to eat meals with fresh ingredients that are healthy for you and help boost your immune system. This includes fresh vegetables, fruits, protein, and fiber to help keep you full.
9. Portion holiday meals appropriately
During the winter months, holidays can be a big source of weight gain for some individuals. In order to avoid gaining weight during the holidays, make sure to portion your meals appropriately. You can still enjoy all your favorite holiday comfort foods, such as Chinese food, American food, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, and apple pie, but just make sure to enjoy less of it in your meal. To help you, a calorie-tracking app can help you track how much you’re eating and tell you what to avoid.
10. Practice safe food handling
The holidays mean lots of cooking, storing, and sharing food. To avoid getting sick with stomach viruses, make sure you’re practicing safe food handling. From washing your hands when preparing food to ensure full cooking times, and also storing meals properly, these safe food handling practices can help prevent you from getting sick. If you’re having an outside food party, using an ice block to help keep food cool can prove beneficial!
11. Regularly stretch your muscles
If you’re curious about how to stay healthy during winter months, regular stretching can help fight off chronic and acute pain. Stretching and massaging your muscles is a great pain management technique to help get rid of muscle tension and spasms that can result from stress during the holidays. If you need help with muscle stretches and exercises, visiting a chiropractor is a great way to get rid of pain during the winter months.
12. Get help for chronic or acute pain
Besides stretching, there are other effective ways to manage chronic and acute pain. Certain exercises, lifestyle changes, and reducing stress can all help you stay pain-free during the winter months. If your pain gets worse during the cold, such as with arthritis, regular visits with your doctor or steroid injections can help you stay active during colder months.
13. Have a spa day
Spa days can help ease tension, help you relax, and help reduce stress which increases your immune system’s ability to fight off infections! Country clubs are a great way to unwind and also relax while enjoying the warm indoors and beautiful sights. You can even do spa treatments at home with the help of bath bombs, Epsom salt, and even aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils.
14. Eat some chicken soup when sick
Did you know that chicken soup has broth that has been proven to fight off infections? A simple chicken soup might be the only thing you need to help cure your infections and shorten your recovery time.
15. Spend time with family
Don’t let the busy holidays stop you from spending time with loved ones. Spending time with family has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be amplified during the winter months. If you’re wondering how to stay healthy during winter months, spending a couple of days out of the week or spending your free time with family can help you stay healthy.
16. Talk to a therapist for seasonal depression
During the winter months, there can be an increase in depressive symptoms known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Whether you have situational depression during the winter, such as from attending a funeral, or have depression due to the holidays or other life stressors, it’s important to talk to a professional for help. You don’t have to suffer during the winter months alone. A trained therapist is a great resource to help you focus and restore your mental health.
17. Continue your favorite indoor hobbies
Did you know that purposeful activities, such as hobbies as volunteering, have been shown to reduce stress and depression? If you’re looking for how to stay healthy during the winter months while doing something productive, look no further than having a hobby to stave off depression. Your hobbies can even help warm up your house, such as making your favorite bakeries bread at home, candle making, knitting, you name it!
18. Practice safe driving
Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for younger adults. Unfortunately, during the winter months, your chances of having an accident can increase due to inclement weather conditions, icy roads, and drunk drivers during the holidays. Always practice safe driving techniques during the winter months to help prevent you from being injured in an accident. Injuries can lead to long hospital stays, and can greatly impact your overall health.
19. Stay hydrated
It can be easy to forget to drink water during the winter months, as the cold chills your bones. However, it’s important to continue to stay hydrated in order to keep you healthy and even keep mucus lining thin. This is especially important if you find yourself coming down with the common cold or another viral infection.
20. Stay away from sick individuals
Keep your distance from anyone who might be having signs and symptoms of a virus or other illness during the winter. If you must be around this person, wearing a mask and washing your hands thoroughly can help prevent the spread of their infection to you. This is crucial if you’re living in closed quarters with them.
21. Get enough sleep
Don’t let staying up late for New Year’s Eve or other holidays keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Arrange a sleeping schedule that ensures you get 8 hours of sleep or more a day. Without sleep, you can suffer from irritable mood and a lowered immune response.
22. Get vaccinated for flu or anything else
Getting your annual flu shot or other vaccines is essential for staying healthy during the winter months. If you’ve already had a flu shot, keep practicing safe hygiene. If you’re wondering whether or not to get another flu shot, keep in mind that viruses can change yearly, and every flu shot is designed for that particular year. Fortunately, many clinics and pharmacies now offer free vaccines and flu shots to keep you healthy this winter.
23. Practice mindfulness
If you’re wondering how to stay healthy during the winter months in regards to your mental health, practicing mindfulness and meditation can be a powerful tool to help. Mindfulness and meditation allow you to relax, get rid of stress, and have been proven to help treat depression and anxiety. Best of all, they can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day from the comfort of your own home.
24. Take supplements
If you live in an area with little to no sunshine during the winter months, this can cause Vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to significant health problems. Luckily, taking a supplement for vitamin D can help this deficiency. Other vitamins you can easily buy at your local vitamin shop include vitamin c to help your immune system, b-12, and omega oils to help keep you in overall good health.
25. Reduce alcohol consumption
The holidays can be a time to be merry, drink, and party with others. It’s important to limit alcohol consumption during the holiday months to make sure you’re staying healthy. Not only can alcohol result in short-term dehydration, headaches, and impairment, but long-term use can damage the liver and other vital organs. If you feel you need help to control alcohol usage, it’s okay to reach out during the winter months to a trained addiction counselor or an addiction center near you.
Stay Healthy Now and Always
Practicing the above tips can help you stay healthy not just during the winter months, but also overall! Everything from exercise, to self-care, meditation, and visiting your doctor regularly can all help prevent you from getting sick and having a high quality of life.