Posted on November 21, 2018 by Kate Gordon
It’s fair to say that winter is upon us, as is the seemingly endless list of exciting events such as Christmas parties, family dinners, work drinks and more. But because of the shorter days and colder weather, this tends to be the point of the year where we are most vulnerable to illnesses.
It is therefore vital that at this manic time of the year we remain healthy and well, so we can all wind down, relax and enjoy the festive break. And, more importantly, we can obviously finish off with work, sort out our important travel plans and remember to buy gifts for everyone!
Prioritising our own health and wellbeing is often put to the bottom of the list in December, so we run through a number of ways that can help you to stay healthy and well during in the build-up to the holidays.
Hot drinks are a perfect choice in cold winter months – especially herbal tea, which as well as warming you up will give you a number of health benefits. They are excellent immune system boosters, packed with antioxidants and vitamins that are excellent at clearing nasal passages, preventing heavy coughs and fighting infections.
Many herbal teas helpwith the breakdown of fats and speed up the emptying of the stomach. Doing so, they can reduce symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and vomiting. They also can reduce inflammation and relieve stress. Some of the best teas to keep you healthy and well during winter are dandelion, chamomile, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger tea.
Winter can be harsh, and although eating well can keep you fit and healthy it is important to take some preventative measures to maintain optimal health. Vitamin supplements can be an excellent way to ensure you make it through the season unscathed and as strong as ever through the busy winter schedule.
Vitamin D is an essential supplement for the winter season as it’s primarily obtained via direct exposure to sunlight. However, as this can become difficult during the cold, dark winter, this is where vitamin D supplements can come in. This nutrient helps to contribute to bone strength, aids in the absorption of calcium and helps promote a positive mood.
Another excellent vitamin supplement for the winter months is vitamin C, whichis a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage, chemicals and pollutants that may harm our body’s cells. There are so many different types of vitamins out there, perfect for these cold winter months when we are at higher risk of illness.
When your body is exposed to the heat of a sauna, it produces white blood cells more rapidly, and it is the white cells that fight viruses and infections. Sweating flushes toxins out of the body, which are hard to clear in any other way. Because of the heat of the sauna, your core body temperature rises and you begin to sweat.
Not only do you begin to feel healthier, you start to look healthier – your pores open and your skin can breathe. The heat removes dead skin cells and you start to develop that rosy glow that really stands out. The sauna’s heat also encourages your body to release endorphins, so as well as your body being healthy and well, mentally you will feel positive and healthy too.
Working out at home can give you just as good physical benefits as outdoor workouts, so don’t worry if there’s not enough time (or if it’s too cold and wet) to head out. Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic and also it can bolster your immune system – reducing the risk of coughs and colds.
In winter months people tend to eat more, however exercising will help you manage your weight better to keep you feeling well and healthy. Exercise gets the body sweating, so like being in a sauna, it will help flush toxins out of the body. Also, exercising releases endorphins from the body, so you will get that ‘feel good factor’!
Cook with spices
Cooking with spices is great as it can provide some excellent flavour to your meals. Not only do spices make food taste good, they also improve your immune system. Spices such as turmeric help to combat a number of health conditions, including inflammation and heart disease, and act as a powerful antioxidant.
So as well as eating some delicious food, you will also get some great health benefits from cooking with spices. Perfect to keep you well this winter, especially when the food is flowing and the tastes are often so good!
By Charlie Casey