How to Stay Healthy and Fit This Winter

Winter is just around the corner. For many of us, winter seems to come as a surprise every year, and we don’t take all the steps we should to keep ourselves healthy and fighting fit. If you take the right steps to keep yourself in good shape, you will enjoy the winter even more.

Avoid exposure to coughs and colds

One of the unfortunate things about winter is that it is cold and flu season. There is nothing that can put more of a dent into winter activities than a heavy bout of the sniffles or running a fever for days on end.

You can significantly reduce your chances of picking up something simply by avoiding touching your face when you are out. People sneeze when they have colds, leaving nasty viruses all over surfaces such as door handles. If you touch these and then touch your face, you are more likely to get sick. If you do need to touch your face, consider carrying a good hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content, and use it after you touch anything or after you have been to the bathroom.

Keep your immune system strong

You can also make it less likely that you will catch nasty bugs if you keep your immune system strong. There are lots of supplements that can help you to do this, but an easy way is to make sure you get plenty of dairy products. Things like cheese, milk and yogurt have lots of protein, as well as vitamins A and B12, which can help to boost your immune system.

On the other hand, try to avoid any foods that are high in fat and sugar, since these can have a negative effect.

Also, try to avoid too much stress. In the short term, stress may actually boost your immune system, but chronic stress makes you produce large amounts of two hormones called cortisol and adrenaline, and many studies have shown that these suppress the immune response.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

If you don’t eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during the winter, your health is going to suffer. If you want something comforting and warm, consider using winter root vegetables such as carrots and turnips to make a thick, hearty soup.

You may also find yourself craving for that sugar hit in the winter. If you do find yourself reaching for something sweet, choose a juicy orange or sweet dried fruit instead – such as raisins or dates. You’ll end up consuming far less sugar than you would otherwise, and eating the fruit will have positive health effects.

Stay warm

Research has shown that getting chilled suppresses our immune systems – so if you don’t stay warm and are then exposed to nasty viruses and bacteria, you are more likely to catch them.

The cold also raises your blood pressure, so if you have any sort of heart condition, you need to avoid this. In fact, most of the increase in deaths in the winter is due to heart problems brought on by the cold. Try to wear warm, layered clothing that traps air, since this provides excellent insulation.

Get plenty of exercise

Of course, getting plenty of exercise during the winter is as important as any other time of year. During the winter months, it’s particularly important to do proper warm-up exercises before you start, otherwise you risk pulling a muscle.

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