When days get shorter and nights get longer, we know that winter is around the corner. On those cold rainy days we just want to lie under a blanket and eat fatty warm winter foods with a cup of warm hot chocolate at hand and the last thing we feel like doing is working out.
These fun winter health tips can boost your metabolism, eating habits and be more productive.
Boost your immune system:
Winter is the prime time for coughs and colds, so make sure you eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and fruit that is packed with vitamin C. Rather eat fresh fruits and vegetables tan reaching for those multivitamins.
Going outside may be the last thing you want to do when the weather's miserable, but your body needs sunlight to create vitamin D that's essential for healthy bones and teeth. Top up your vitamin D levels with cod-liver oil, milk, dairy products and oily fish such as sardines, salmon and fresh tuna.
Watch your appetite:
The shorter days of autumn and winter affect our internal body clock that tells us when we feel tired, when we wake up and when we feel hungry. The lack of daylight causes an increase in appetite, so make sure you indulge those cravings with healthier foods.
Satisfy that sweet tooth with blackberries, plums, apples and pears, and make comforting stews from pumpkins and leeks.
Check your medicine cabinet:
Coughs and colds are more common in the winter months, so stock up your medicine and be ready for this season's sniffs and snivels. Painkillers, decongestants and cough mixtures are good for adults and don't forget liquid paracetamol for children.
Check the use-by dates on your medicines and dispose of the old ones.
Drinks at work:
You may not fancy water in the colder weather, but watch those warming cappuccinos don't cause your weight to creep up.
Herbal teas are also a good alternative. And try to take your tea and coffee without sugar or with less sugar if you must.
Watch your mood:
Lack of sunshine and daylight can have a profound effect on our emotions. For some people, this causes low mood, irritability and lack of energy during autumn and winter.
Winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder as it is known, affects women more than men. Symptoms include a lack of interest in socializing, daytime sleepiness, a craving for starchy foods and an increased need for sleep.
Exercise is a good way to boost your mood because it releases your body's natural feel-good hormones. If you can't seem to shake the winter blues, talk to your doctor.
Dry, sunny days are perfect for walking. And the cold weather means your body burns more calories just to keep warm, making activity more effective.
Gyms are great for fitness in the winter months. Try something new like Pilates or yoga: Pilates strengthens your core muscles, while yoga promotes flexibility.
Whatever your activity, don't forget to spend the first five minutes warming up; your muscles will be tighter than in the summer months, making them more prone to injury.
Take care of your skin:
Wind, rain and central heating can play havoc with your skin, leaving it dry and flaky. But before you slap on the moisturizer, make sure you exfoliate first to get rid of all those dead skin cells. UV rays can still penetrate the skin on cloudy days, so stick to a moisturizer with an SPF 15 to avoid wrinkles.
Try to be more productive in winter and try to keep busy so you won’t think of food as we like to constantly nibble on something when it’s cold outside. Enjoy the winter months with your family because before you know it summer will be knocking on the door.