OK, IT’S BACK - WINTER HAS ARRIVED! THIS WINTER, MAKE IT ALL ABOUT WELLNESS AND MAINTAINING GOOD HEALTH FOR THESE NEXT 12 WEEKS UNTIL SPRING RETURNS. MAKING SOME SMALL ADJUSTMENTS TO YOUR DAYS WILL HELP TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK TO AVOID COLDS AND FLUS AND THE
The first issue we are going to tackle is to keep moving. Gym memberships drop off, personal training clients go into hibernation and there are not as many walkers out and about. The darker, colder mornings and early sunsets definitely have that effect, however we still have 24 hours in a winter’s day so it is all about making some simple changes. Keeping exercise gear at the end of the bed is a start. Be organised the night before – sleep in your workout gear if you have to (I know many who do!) then there are no excuses. Do a few laps around your block - whether you walk, run or cycle - just move. Aim for 20-30 minutes to give the body time to warm up then lift the pace – see how many laps of the block you can do in 30 minutes. Instead of waiting on the sidelines at the kids’ sports training sessions, grab some other parents and walk while the kids train. You can stay close by, add some steps to the pedometer and keep warm too! Still aim for those 10,000 steps a day during winter.
Generally over the cooler months we tend to forget to drink sufficient water. Keeping hydrated over winter is just as important as any other season. Our cells need water for us to function correctly so keep a full water bottle with you – drink water on rising, around meal times and before bed too. Make sure the kids are keeping hydrated also as they will tend to have less visits to the water fountains at school during winter months.
The next important message is to eat seasonally. Nature has a fantastic way of providing us with the correct nutrients that we need at the correct times. Everything we need right now is growing locally. We don’t have to consume imported produce that is not seasonal. Produce that is currently available, but that should be out of season has generally be cold stored for long periods or imported (and cold stored during the importation). They are also more expensive (grapes are a fantastic example of a summer fruit that is still available). Hippocrates’ famous statement “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is testament to the power of eating correctly. And Hippocrates was not talking about imported wholefoods. Look to nourishing wholefoods to support your health this winter.
Of course one other important element to winter wellness is sleep. The quality of our sleep is always a big factor in our overall wellbeing. In winter we tend to close all the windows to fresh air and bury ourselves under lots of covers that causes us to overheat. Sleeping in a bed that is over 32°C will have an adverse effect on REM sleep and as such have us waking feeling lethargic and vague. Allow a flow of fresh air into your room and kick off some of those covers.
KEEP UP THE VITAMIN D
Warm up in the sunshine. Don’t deny the body of essential Vitamin D from the sun’s rays this winter. We are so fortunate to be in this part of the world where winter weather is still warm and we can still be out and about at the beach or the parks. Make sure you are still allowing small amounts of exposure to the sunshine to get this essential vitamin. The body absorbs Vitamin D from the sun quickly as opposed to taking a synthetic source of D vitamin supplements.
KEEP SKIN IN CHECK
Which leads me to the big finale – skin. Our largest organ. It tends to get dry and flaky during the winter months. Our bodies are not sweating as much and so we need to put the moisture back in. Before you do, give your body a treat by dry brushing and removing all the dead skin cells, followed by a shower and then nourish with moisture (I love my coconut oil in winter). Dry brushing has many benefits as it stimulates circulation and the nerves under the skin including our lymphatic system. This stimulation then assists in ridding the body of toxins (and yes, cellulite too!) leaving the skin soft and ready to absorb the moisture. Stay well this winter.