Before too long the temperature will be edging downward, and smart families will prepare for the health challenges that come with this time of year. Here’s 7 winter health and wellness tips to keep you happy, healthy and going strong!
- Eat plenty of fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables. Filled with vitamins and minerals, they’ll boost your immune system to keep you healthy when it’s cold outside. Include “super-foods” like blueberries (high in anti-oxidants that protect your cells), garlic (great for stimulating your immune system to shield you from illness) or sprouts (help you detoxify). And remember to drink plenty of water, because cold temperatures tend to dehydrate us.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need seven or eight hours of sleep each night, children at least another hour or two. Your body works hard throughout the day, so you must give it a chance to refresh and rejuvenate. Also, your brain cleanses itself while you sleep, which can take several hours or more of uninterrupted slumber. Getting sufficient sleep is critically important for good health year-round.
- Good nutritional supplements will fortify you and your family during the cold season. In our office we depend on whole foods supplements and high quality herbs from Standard Process. Since the strength of your immune system depends on a healthy gut, we recommend Probiotics and digestive enzymes, such as Multizyme or Enzycore. Immuplex and Echinacea Premium should be used on a daily basis as ongoing protection against colds and flu. If you do get sick, be sure to have Congaplex and Standard Process herbal throat spray on hand. Taking Congaplex the minute you feel the first cold or flu symptoms turbo-charges your immune system – you either won’t get sick at all, or you’ll get over it much faster!
- Exercise. Getting your blood moving and your muscles limbered up distributes heat in your body and keeps you functioning effectively. Walk, stretch, shovel snow, go skating or skiing, or develop a yoga or Pilates practice. You can exercise inside your home, at the gym, sign up for our unlimited personal training classes ($399/month) or you can brave the elements and exercise outside, but do whatever it takes to keep your body fit over the winter months.
- Dress in layers. You want to be warm enough when you’re outside, but be able to adjust your clothing when you come inside. T-shirt, top shirt, sweater or sweat-shirt and a jacket or coat over that gives you the flexibility to dress appropriately even if you go between inside, outside, and the subway. Handling temperature change regulates your body temperature, which helps you to be healthier.
- Have daily quiet time. Meditation, prayer or contemplation soothes your mind, body and spirit. Taking a few minutes in the morning, evening or both can reward you with a stronger constitution overall, and a quicker healing and recovery time. Wintertime stresses can really get us stuck, so claiming a little down time is an investment that will reward you many times over.
- Visit your chiropractor. Keeping your brain, spine and nerve system working at their best can set the stage for a healthier winter. Hunching your shoulders against the icy wind tightens your muscles and may injure your neck. Excessive snow shoveling can over-stress your lower back, your shoulders or your knees. Let your doctor of chiropractic keep your spine aligned, so your body heals and works at its best.
As is often the case, a few simple lifestyle decisions can make a world of difference in your quality of life during the winter months. There are no guarantees, but those of us who develop good health habits experience an ongoing sense of wellness, not only in the winter but all the time!
Take good care of yourself and your family this winter – you’ll suffer less, save time and money, and have a better quality of life, too.