Preparing Your Body for the Winter
With winter quickly approaching, and temperatures already dropping in many areas of the country, now is the time to begin preparing your body and your overall health for the cold winter that will be here soon. If you are fortunate enough to live in a warm climate, you may find some of these winter weather tips can be put to good use even when the temperatures are warm and there is plenty of sunshine in your life.
For the rest of us, winter weather is often the start of winter colds and other viruses as well as dry and cracked skin and unhealthy physical habits. Here are some of the best ways to combat the harshness of winter and come through it looking and feeling fabulous.
When you want to decrease the chance of developing chronic illnesses such as winter colds by boosting your immunity, or you want to keep your bones strong, especially during the winter time, Vitamin D is a key ingredient to fighting the winter battles that seem to always arise when the temperature drops outside. Vitamin D is found in the warm sunshine that our bodies get used to during the spring and summer, but it is also found in milk and in Vitamin D supplements. Be sure to have a glass of milk daily or take a supplement. Vitamin D is also a great way to boost your mood and help keep a smile on your face during the winter.
Everyone wants to have beautiful skin and dry and chapped skin can lead to painful areas all over your body, especially in the winter time. To keep your skin moisturized during the colder temperatures, be sure to use products that contain Vitamin E, avocado oil or coconut oil as these will help hold in the moisture and maintain the elasticity of skin to help prevent dry patches that can itch or hurt. Moisturizer should be applied to your face as well as arms, legs and other areas of the body to prevent moisture loss. Be careful with the lotions that you use as many contain heavy perfumes but have no true value for preventing dry winter skin.
Winter seems to be the calling card, so to speak, for dull, dry and flyaway hair. Let’s face it, winter can be very harsh on hair and it is very important to use the right products to help prevent it from becoming damaged by the winter air. Many people wash and go in the warm months because they run out of the house to take a walk or go jogging and don’t worry about their hair being dried. During the winter, you should always make sure your hair is dry before heading out into the cold. Products that contain coconut oil can help tame dry and frizzy hair, especially during the winter, but also all year long. It is also a good idea to cut back on using heated curlers or blow drying hair as heat will pull moisture from your hair and can cause it to frizz. To cut down on static electricity, vitamin E oil is always a good choice. Just a small dab in your hand and your hair will be good to go all day long.
Turn Up the Humidity:
If you have not already purchased a humidifier, now is a great time to do so. Humidity in the air can help keep your skin moisturized and it can also help prevent airborne illnesses like the common cold. Humidity also helps keep sinuses free and clear and reduces the symptoms of a winter cold such as cough, stuffy nose or head and dry throats. The humidity level should be around 50% but be sure it doesn’t go far above that, especially when the heat is turned up as heat and humidity can help mold start growing, and no one wants to find out they have mold in their home.
Introduce a Little Spice to Your Life:
Spices don’t just help food taste better. They also help keep your body in tune with being healthy. Spices such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, red pepper and other hot spices can not only add flavor to a meal, but they will also add warmth to your insides as well. These spices can also help keep your airways open which helps you to breathe a whole lot better if you have a cold or sinus issue in the winter. Ginger is a spice that can help with stomach issues and per the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, has great antioxidants to help blood flow smoothly and has great anti-inflammatory benefits.
Warming Up Before Exercise
Most people do a little warming up before they work out no matter what time of year it is. During the winter, taking enough time to warm up your muscles is not just a good idea, but is something that can help prevent injuries once you get outside in the cold. If you plan to take a walk, go jogging or just get in a cold weather workout, be sure to take some time indoors to really get your muscles warmed up by doing a little cardio to get the muscles moving and to start increasing your heart rate to get your blood flowing throughout your body. Taking time to warm up indoors can help ensure that you don’t find yourself standing in line at the emergency room having to use your health insurance policy to take care of a strained muscle or another injury caused from not getting warmed up enough before working out in the cold.
Surviving the winter is easy to do when you make sure you keep your body rejuvenated daily. It is also a great idea to stay active during the winter and make sure you take plenty of time for social engagements to help keep your mind alert and keep the winter blues away.
Jason Mueller enjoys a healthy eating lifestyle teamed with exercise to keep the mind and body in good condition. He is currently working on a passion project out of Santa Cruz California, you can visit his website www.thingstodoinsantacruz.com. When he is not working you can catch him surfing.