#TACTIX :: Staying Healthy In The Winter Months

Welcome to Winter

Wintertime is upon us. It’s getting colder and darker earlier, and we’re retreating to indoor life and activities. This is also the time of year we start exercising less and catching illnesses more. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. You can still eat healthily, stay exercised, and avoid illnesses with simple and easy ways to stay healthy during the winter months. All you need is the proper preparations and motivation.

Don’t stop exercising

Don’t stop exercising. Schedule frequent workout sessions. Find a gym if you can and make a commitment to work out whenever you can. Try yoga or a spin class, or find some fun exercise videos on YouTube to work out to. On sunny days, dress up warmly and simply take a walk or jog around the neighborhood. Find a friend to join you to keep you motivated. Even 20 minutes a day is a big step toward keeping a healthy exercise regimen.

Eat better, avoid excessive snacking

Many of us tend to eat more during the winter months. When you sit for long periods of time, it’s easy to snack on junk food. Limit carbohydrate-laden foods such as white bread and pasta to a minimum. Increase lean proteins and healthier fruits and vegetables such as dark leafy greens, winter squash, citrus, and pomegranate. These fruits and vegetables are laden with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber which boost the body’s immune system and keep illnesses at bay. It’s also important to stay hydrated as dry air tends to dry out our skin. Increase your intake of water, and also milk. Your body needs more milk at this time to invigorate your immune system with vitamins D and B12, and also a very important source of calcium for strong and healthy bones. Yogurt, cheese, fish, and eggs are also good sources of vitamin D.  

Build your immune system

The winter months tend to force people to be closer to other people while indoors. This can increase the chances of catching viruses that cause colds, the flu, or COVID-19. Our natural mucus barriers in the nose, mouth, and lungs, are weaker in dry air. To help build body defenses, start by getting a flu shot and keep up with COVID vaccinations. Make sure you wash your hands more frequently and use a humidifier in your home to quell the dry air. Try some natural remedies like olive leaf, garlic, echinacea, elderberry, vitamin C, and zinc. Make sure you also get enough sleep. Restricting computer use and TV watching at night can cause you to stay up later and deprive your sleep pattern.     

Dress appropriately for the weather

Keep track of temperatures and weather conditions using apps or watching local weather reports. Avoid under or over-dressing for the day. Wear layers so you can adjust your comfort level as you go from cold outdoors to warmer indoors. Invest in a warm winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and earmuffs. Protect your head, hands, feet, and ears

Be mindful of your body’s reaction to the weather. Immediately get out of the cold if you suspect you are getting frostbite. Slowly warm the affected area — but avoid rubbing as that can damage your skin. Seek emergency care if numbness doesn’t go away. If you experience intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination, or extreme fatigue, those could be signs of hypothermia. Find warm shelter quickly.

Watch your heart

With the winter season, comes the winter snowstorms. Although snow creates a picturesque scene worthy of multiple Instagram selfies, it eventually needs to be shoveled. Studies have shown that heart attack rates increase as temperatures decrease. Shoveling snow, particularly heavy, wet snow, can cause intense bursts of activity and excessive demands on your heart.

Make sure you move small amounts of snow at a time and take your time. Any amount of chest pain should be taken seriously. Seek medical help immediately if you feel discomfort, chest tightening, or pain in the chest, upper arm, or neck area. Make sure you use the proper techniques to shovel snow to protect not only your heart but your back and joints also. If you experience issues with your spine and joints, make sure you make an appointment with a chiropractor, like Chiropractix.

Enjoy the winter months

Don’t dread the winter season…embrace it. You can stay healthy during the winter months by following the above tips and still enjoy the colder temperatures and changing seasons.

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