You better watch out! Santa knows when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake and he knows whether or not you’re living a healthy lifestyle!
Okay, fine, we lied about that last part. But still! It’s very easy to lose track of our health during the winter season. There’s that delicious Christmas dinner just waiting to be eaten, and it sometimes seems as though a lot of fruits and vegetables are out of season during the winter. Oh, and don’t forget those extremely sugary pumpkin spice lattes. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
There are a lot of different ways to stay healthy, but let’s narrow it down to a few of the many options. Now, let’s go over some tips on how to keep a healthy immune system in the winter, shall we?
- Sleep tight!
We need sleep all year round, so a good sleep schedule is definitely a must during winter. The National Sleep Foundation states that both young adults and adults over 65 need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep would also be much easier to achieve if you avoid afternoon naps and refrain from phone usage before bed.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Believe it or not, winter actually has plenty of fruits and vegetables in season! According to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, kale and Brussels sprouts are on the list of winter fruits and vegetables. (If you want to see the full list of fruits and vegetables for each season, take a look at SNAP-Ed’s Seasonal Produce Guide here.)
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!
If you’re worried about going out into the cold air, morning or afternoon jogs are a great way to get your heart rate up and keep you warm. There are also plenty of exercises that you could do indoors such as yoga, push-ups, dumbbells, crunches and squats. And don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout!
Mental health is physical health. Meditation is not just about dealing with stress; our minds and bodies need to be in sync with one another in order to function properly. So, take time out of your day to sit back, breathe and quiet your mind. Even a small amount of meditation can make a difference, but if you really want to take your meditation to the next level, neuroscientist Amishi Jha has stated to mental health site Mindful that 12 minutes for 5 days per week is the goal. (To learn how to meditate, click on this Mindful article here.)
- Drink plenty of water!
Staying hydrated is important for daily physical and mental functioning. According to the Mayo Clinic, the amount of water you need depends on your body type, your overall health, and how much you exercise. But the typical amount is 15.5 cups (3.7 L) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 L) for women.
We know it won’t be easy to stay healthy this winter, but believe us when we say that keeping to a healthy lifestyle will make any season all the more bearable and even enjoyable! So on that note, stay warm, stay strong and spread Christmas cheer and kale! We believe in you!
Additional Sources for “Ho-Ho-Health! How to Stay Healthy for the Holidays”
When is the best time to stretch? https://www.atipt.com/blog/pre-post-workout-
How much water to drink to stay hydrated: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-