Winter is here. As we struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns, it is difficult to imagine how the low temperature that comes with winter could be beneficial or make the current situation any better. However, according to experts, winter is a season in which our immune system gets a boost. Cold weather reduces our body temperature and puts our body into thermoregulation mode for it to readjust to the cold climate.
Although the winter season may increase the risk of weather-related injury, lack of attention to exercise routines and diet is the biggest risk that poses a serious threat to our overall health. Maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine is important in warding off illnesses. Below are a few winter diet and exercise tips that you can use to stay healthy, fit, and safe during the winter season:
- Plan Your Exercises Early Enough
Try to follow a weekly exercise plan so that you do not postpone any of your regular exercise activities. Plan your weekly exercise schedule on the first day of the week. Choose the exact activities, routines, and exercises that you will do for each day of the week and the duration of each.
- Consume More Vegetables and Fruits
Eating more vegetables and fruits that are orange and dark green is very important in making sure that you are getting the necessary fats, sugars, and nutrients that your body needs. Oranges, carrots, squash, kale, and spinach are all delicious during the winter months.
- Reduce Your Carbs Consumption
During the cold season, your cravings for comfort food and carbs are usually heightened. Consuming these foods will significantly increase your serotonin levels and make your brain think you are happy. The brain will then demand more and more of it, and after a week or so, you will start putting on extra weight really quickly.
- Add More Fibre to Your Diet
Soluble fibre is very important in boosting your immune function and decreasing inflammation. Foods that are rich in soluble fibre include nuts, oats, and apples. It also helps in reducing cholesterol levels in the body, offers protection against diabetes, and aids in weight loss. Soluble fibre is particularly essential for seniors during the winter season as they need a high-fibre diet to improve the function of their digestive systems.
- Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet
Omega 3 fatty acids are naturally found in foods such as nuts, plant seeds, and fish. This type of fat is good for reducing stiffness and joint pain as they are a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Research studies have found that Omega 3 fatty acids aids in lowering the levels of depression – which is a common mental condition that people develop due to the shorter days of winter.
- Drink the required amount of water each day to stay hydrated. Water helps in cleaning our body and also carries nutrients to our body cells.
- Get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong
- Maintain good hygiene by regularly washing your hands
- Quit smoking. Smoking makes you vulnerable to a myriad of respiratory infections during winter
- Keep warm. Wear woollen clothes when going out.