Staying healthy always requires effort, but keeping up with your health during the cold winter months is especially difficult. Dragging yourself to the gym in freezing temperatures isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, and cooking healthy meals might not be a top priority when you’re bundled up from head to toe.
That said, with winter more than halfway over, now is not the time to get complacent. We’re right in the middle of flu season, with colds and coughs still on the horizon. Staying proactive and mindful of any symptoms as they come up will help you weather these cold winter months. It’s also important to maintain the health and fitness regimens that have you in your best mindset year-round. We compiled some tips to help you keep your winter health at the top of its game, so you can get the most out of the rest of the season and gear up for a healthy and enjoyable spring!
Table of Contents
Evaluate Your Eating Habits
Maintaining a healthy diet during the winter months may seem close to impossible. With all of the delicious seasonal comfort foods offered this time of year, it can be hard to resist another serving of your favorite pasta or casserole. However, maintaining healthy eating habits is hugely beneficial to both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Cutting down on fatty foods and adding in a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables can go a long way. Eating healthy foods can help improve your mood, energy level, and can even boost your immune system. According to Medical News Today, there are a variety of health benefits that come from maintaining a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Just a few of the benefits they mention include: weight loss, reduced cancer risk, diabetes management, improved heart health, stronger bones and teeth, and improved gut health. There’s also a notable, documented relationship between a healthy diet and mental health benefits such as an improved mood and better memory.
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Be Mindful of Changes in Weight
Packing on a little holiday weight is completely normal, but continuing to gain weight, or failing to shed those added pounds can result in many health issues. According to a recent study, as little as five pounds of added weight can result in an increase in blood pressure in most adults. While blood pressure and an increased risk for diabetes are some of the more known side-effects of weight gain, there are also some lesser-known dangers of weight gain as well. Problems ranging from erectile dysfunction to psoriatic arthritis can also be caused by adding a few extra pounds.
Get in the Right Mindset
Starting a diet is hard enough, but sticking to it can be even harder. In fact, every year eating healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolutions, but people hardly ever follow through on this goal. Last year, by January 17th, almost 60% of adults who made resolutions had already failed. Go into the rest of winter with a better eating plan in place. Psychologists recommend the best way to make a diet stick is to have the right mindset, so be proactive when creating your goals. Having a plan in place for any health goal will help you stay motivated in the long run. Starting and sticking with a diet is not an easy thing to do. If you need some help, consider scheduling a meeting with a dietician through Booksy today.
Break a Sweat
Starting a diet is just the first step of getting in shape this winter. Supplementing your diet with exercise can help improve both your mental and physical health this year. Similar to dieting, keeping up on working out can be difficult for some people. Establishing a realistic goal, whether that’s a certain number of times you work out per week, or a certain achievement you want to reach, should be the first step when developing a workout plan. Putting a goal in place can help you stay motivated and in the right mindset this winter.
If you’re having trouble developing a workout plan, or just need some general assistance, a personal trainer might be a good fit for you. Personal trainers will develop a specific workout tailored just to your needs. This plan will be specific to your body and have your goals in mind. Check out some different personal trainers that are available near you.
Manage your Stress
Winter can be extremely taxing on your mental health. The short days and cold weather can make it seem like there is nothing to do. Staying indoors can cause you to become “stir-crazy” and can result in high levels of anxiety and stress. This increase in anxiety and stress can lead to other health problems such as depression, high blood pressure, and insomnia.
Being aware of your mental health is the first step to take when addressing your stress level this season. Taking up a hobby or participating in some stress-reducing activities is a great way to tend to your mental health. Treating yourself to a day at the spa or a massage can be therapeutic and help with stress.
If you find that you don’t have the time to get out to a massage therapist, you can still take steps to reduce your stress at home. Meditation and yoga are two stress-relieving activities that anyone can do, and they have documented mental health benefits. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, so caring for the mind can help keep the body in shape as well.
First things first, make sure you have a plan in place to address your mental and physical health this winter. Make sure your plan addresses how you’ll stay motivated, keep organized, and remain mindful of your health goals. If you’re having trouble getting back on track, consider reaching out to a friend or a healthcare professional. It is always easier to get started when you have a support system in place.
Read up on some of our other health and wellness tips here to make sure you stay healthy this weekend.