Top Tips to Stay Healthy this Winter
Staying fit and healthy can prove to be a challenge as the temperature plummets. The majority of people (including us!) just want to hibernate under a blanket and avoid the cold. Comfort foods become the norm and physical activity levels can drop, often resulting in a few unwanted kilos and a weakened immune system. So we are determined to help you stay in your best physical condition over the cooler months and have sourced the best tips and tricks to keep your nutrition and fitness levels on point this Winter.
1. Boost your diet
Incorporating the following powerhouse foods into your diet can help to keep your immune system strong:
Vitamin C: Eating foods high in Vitamin C can assist in immune system function, acting as a natural antioxidant and cell repairer.
Vitamin A: Research indicates that Vitamin A can also assist in immune system function, and can be found in carrots, sweet potato and spinach.
Garlic: Traditionally used for immune system support, this ingredient can be added to stir fries and pasta sauces to add an extra health (and taste!) kick. With garlic powder, crushed and paste options available there are plenty of ways to include this ingredient.
Zinc: Proven to keep immune defences strong, foods including oysters, crab, beef, poultry, nuts and whole-grains are rich in this mineral.
2. Stay active
The urge to stay in the warmth and skip your normal training routine may be tempting, but the physical benefits of being active far outweigh those from snuggling under a blanket! Beat the temptation to laze around by organising to exercise with friends. A friend will help to keep you motivated, and you’ll be less likely to skip a workout if someone is relying on you. If a social workout isn’t for you, try doing a simple workout at home. There are plenty of exercises you can do indoors such as squats, lunges, tricep dips on the lounge, push ups on any flat surface and stair runs to name a few. Alternately try a yoga or pilates DVD to get the blood flowing.
3. Sleep well
Help your body fight off infection by ensuring you get a minimum of eight hours sleep. Prepare your body for uninterrupted rest by avoiding TV and bright lights for a couple of hours before you turn in. By being warm and relaxed you are in the best position to get a good night’s slumber.
4. Be germ-conscious
Frequently washing your hands can play a huge role in reducing your chances of catching and spreading infections. It helps to limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes which is important in winter when people tend to catch colds and flus more frequently. Being conscious of covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, particularly at work and on public transport, is also key in limiting the spread of infection. It is also guaranteed to make you more popular in the office too, as colds and flus are easily spread through air conditioning and contact with keyboards.