Friday, June 1 2012

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It’s that time of year again! The air is getting colder, mornings are getting darker, the breeze is chillier and the heater is cranking at full speed, so we all know what that means… It’s Winter! Winter is a wonderful time of year for those who enjoy the cold, but can be the pinnacle of unhappiness for others who don’t enjoy a bit of a chilly season.  Winter means new fashion, hot chocolate, movies by the fire, ugg boots and of course, the sniffles!

Humans are sensitive to the cold and winter can not only bring the cold with it, but the flu as well. The arrival of a winter season is usually welcomed by a dripping nose, sore throat or barking cough for some unlucky people who get the winter blues. So, how do we avoid catching the ‘cold’ and stay healthy all season long?  So here are my tips for staying warm and comfie this winter.

Rug Up

The key to staying healthy during the nippy season is rug up! Yes scarfs and gloves can be dorky, but if you check out the latest winter fashions and accessorise with some boots and maybe even a cute beanie, who says being warm can’t be fashionable?

Eat Well

Winter is also known to cause us to comfort ourselves in the cold by bulking up on junk and ‘comfort’ foods to make ourselves feel better, but the strategy to avoid expanding you waistline this winter is to stock up on some healthy and nutritional foods. Why not try to infuse your warmth and senses with some green tea, fresh soups or curries and stock up on citrus fruits to keep vitamins and minerals circulating your senses? By avoiding bad foods and swapping junk food for health food you can not only avoid sickness, but avoid getting a lazy waistline as well.

 Exercise

Speaking of lazy, winter can certainly be lazy season for many people, as exercising in the cold doesn’t sound too fun, does it? But how about swapping the couch and TV in the warmth, for some sit ups or simple weights in the lounge room over winter? If you keep up some physical activity and combining exercise and toning, with healthy foods over winter, you might just end up with a beautiful new summer body to show off when the warmth of the summer sun comes around again, not to mention a mental state that is much more positive, and with that we can beat off anything.

Vitamin D Dose

Also, although the summer sun is more pleasant and can provide your skin with a sun-kissed glow, it is vital to still pay the sun a quick visit each day as Vitamin D is not only great for your skin, but can enlighten your mood as well. We need vitamin D to maintain good health and to keep bones and muscles strong and healthy – so as you can see pretty important. So how much do you need? The Cancer Council recommend the following, depending on where you live:

  • In winter in the southern parts of Australia, where UV radiation levels are less intense, people may need about two to three hours of sunlight to the face, arms and hands, or equivalent area of skin, spread over a week to maintain adequate vitamin D levels.
  • In winter in northern parts of Australia, people will continue to maintain adequate vitamin D levels going about their day-to-day activities, so it is not necessary to deliberately seek UV radiation exposure.

De-Stress

Minimising stress also plays a major roll in staying healthy this winter, as winter is usually a time where your body temporarily gives up or “goes into partial hibernation”, as I like to say. By minimising stress you can help your immune system stay strong and fight flus, as stress can depress the immune system and unwanted stress could be the cause of illness. And most importantly, have some fun! Stay happy and safe, and enjoy some winter activities with your friends, including ice skating, movies, board game nights and maybe even a simple catch up hot chocolate at your favourite café.

So this winter, don’t let the cold get you down. Make the right choice for your wellbeing; rug up, soup up and sit up, to battle the cold and defeat the winter blues. Why not grab a bunch of friends and make a winter healthy eating and exercise plan that not only benefits and suits you, but will provide you with some socialisation as well. At the end of the day, winter is one season that will pass and as Elizabeth Bowden once said, “Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day”. Spring may be close than you think, so look to the horizon and the summer sun will greet you and your wellbeing before you know it!

Jess

What about you? Do you have any winter warming tips? Leave us a comment below.

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Comments

2 Responses to “The Winter Chills”

  1. lynz says:

    One of our Facebook Fans suggested buying or making a wheat bag – we love the idea of making you own. Sounds like a plan – here is a guide for how to http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Making-and-Mending/Wheat-Pillow/1068

  2. Xin says:

    Great blog post! It’s getting harder and harder to get up early, but I made a resolution to get up every morning and practice tai chi, meditate and read philosophy books. It gets nippy, but the early morning sunlight and the brisk air feel great!

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