Staying Well in Winter

Have you ever wondered why Winter seems to be a breeding ground for snuffles, coughs, and colds? It turns out that viruses have a longer lifespan as the temperature drops, making us more susceptible to their unwelcome presence. On top of that, those of us who are less inclined to brave the outdoors, stay inside inadvertently creating the perfect environment for viruses to spread form one person to another.

Taking a proactive stance against Winter woes involves more than wrapping up warm. Here are some top tips to keep you on top form into the New Year


Prioritise quality sleep:

Ensure you get good quality sleep. Set a regular wake-up time and expose yourself to natural light early in the day to regulate your circadian rhythm. Banish electronic devices from the bedroom and opt for an old-fashioned alarm clock. When we’re tired it can be tough to both stay positive, the Winter Blues kick in and it’s difficult to make healthy choices when it comes to food.


Nurture your gut health:

Maintain a diverse diet, eat the rainbow. Try to include fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, or kombucha. Steer clear of excessive ultra-processed foods. Your gut health and immune system share a strong connection, look after your microbes and they’ll look after you.


Stay hydrated:

Don’t neglect hydration in winter. Water is vital for energy, mental clarity, and to help your body remove toxins and waste. If you find it hard to glug down water when it’s cold, then consider soup for lunch or herbal tea.


Embrace seasonal and local eating:

Winter often limits the variety of fruits and veggies available. Choose seasonal and local produce, which tends to be more affordable and nutrient rich. Consider joining a veg bag scheme for a regular supply of fresh, local, and organic vegetables.


Consider Vitamin D supplementation:

While for most of us a balanced diet should provide all the vitamins and minerals we need, in Winter when sunlight exposure is limited NHS England recommend a Vitamin D supplement, key for immune health.


Exercise for immunity and mental health:

Combat the winter blues by staying active. Exercise supports both a robust immune system and mental well-being.
Mix up your routine with activities that elevate your heart rate and those that provide relaxation, and help with stress management like walking, yoga or swimming.


Self-Treat wisely:

If illness strikes, keep warm to enhance your body’s natural defences. Incorporate vitamin C-rich foods like peppers, citrus fruits, berries, and broccoli, along with Zinc sources such as seeds, oily fish, and legumes. Stay hydrated to help your body remove toxins or infection more efficiently.


Nourish Your Brain:

It’s important to acknowledge the effects of lifestyle on our mental as well as physical health. Boost brain health and help dampen down cortisol (our stress hormone) with omega-3-rich foods like avocado, oily fish, walnuts, seeds, and Brussels sprouts. This Winter, focus on taking care of yourself in a holistic way. Prioritise your well-being by looking after your body, keeping your mind engaged, and strengthening your immune system. It’s not just about getting through the cold season, but coming out of it feeling tip top.

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