January 14, 2022
Now that the holidays are over, many of us are getting back on track with our health with new years resolutions and diets. During the winter months, it can be easy to get less active, eat more and there is a greater chance for getting sick. We’ve got a few tips to keep you and your home healthier this winter.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands is something we’ve talked about for a long time, especially since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether we’re in a pandemic or not, washing your hands often is good practice to prevent getting sick and spreading germs. Germs are found on all surfaces so even if you’re in your own home, it’s still a good idea to wash your hands frequently. In addition to washing your hands, you should also wipe down surfaces that are frequently touched such as phones, car keys, door handles, counters and even the steering wheel in your car. If you aren’t able to wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
One of the easiest ways to gain weight over the winter is by letting yourself be less active. When the holidays are over, we generally find that we have more downtime and it can come as a welcome relief after the holiday chaos. It can be very easy to slip into a habit of sitting down with the intention of watching 1 episode of your favorite show and then 4 episodes later it’s time to get ready for bed. Making a point to stay active during the winter will help keep those extra pounds off and will help you stay in better shape. Find activities that you can do while watching your favorite show like using a stationary bike, treadmill, or other workout equipment. Using the stairs or simply walking in place a great ways to burn a few extra calories.
Check-in with your diet
During the winter, we tend to spend less time outside, which means that we aren’t getting as much vitamin D as we do during warmer months. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when our skin absorbs the sunlight but when we spend less time outside we don’t produce as much. Vitamin D primarily helps to have strong bones and teeth, but it also helps your immune system function. Foods that are high in vitamin d include fish such as swordfish, tuna fish, and salmon. Other options for vitamin D include spinach, kale and soybeans to name a few.
During the winter months the air is colder and dryer meaning there is a greater chance you might be dehydrated if you don’t drink enough winter. When the temperatures are colder, people tend not to feel as thirsty as they would when it’s hot during the summer, so it’s important to remind yourself to dink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Drinking more water during the winter months also helps to heal dry and cracked skin. When your body is properly hydrated, your skin cells are hydrated and less likely to dry out. Another solution to dry air is to have a humidifier in your home. This helps replace the moisture in the air and will help reduce dry skin.
Keeping your body warm during the winter months is important to staying healthy and fighting off potential sickness. Dressing in layers helps keep you warm, and allows you to remove layers if you get too hot while you are moving around. It’s also important to understand that you lose the most heat through your hands, feet, and head so make sure you bundle up when going outside. When clothes get wet, the wet clothing actually draws heat out of your body. If your clothes get wet, change them as soon as possible to prevent hypothermia.
The StayWell Health Center Team