Winter brings new challenges to our health that we simply don’t experience in the warmer months. And with viruses and bacteria spreading more easily, it’s time we started to prioritise our winter wellness regimes to stay happy and healthy throughout the season.
With winter wellbeing in mind, we’ve gathered our top tips for staying fit and healthy this winter. Staying well is the key to balancing your mood to stay motivated and energised throughout the season.
Prepare to feel happier, healthier and stronger this winter!
Table of contents:
How to stay well this winter
- Prevent the spread of germs
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise regularly
- Sleep well
- Stay warm
Boost your winter wellness at Discount Supplements
How to stay well this winter
The optimum way to stay healthy this winter is to look after your immune system. However, whilst this is the key way to maintain good winter health, many other factors must be considered to keep it in peak condition.
Here are our top six tips for improving and maintaining good health and wellness this winter:
1. Prevent the spread of germs
In winter, we spend more time indoors, so it’s much easier for germs and bacteria to be spread from person to person - making it easier to catch common colds and flu. Additionally, our immune cells change during winter, making it more difficult for them to fight infection.
The best way to protect your body from infection and avoid infecting others is to try to eliminate the spread of germs.
If you’re coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth to prevent the spread of germs around the room. If you don’t have tissue, the best way is to cough into your elbow or higher up your sleeve rather than cough directly into your hands, where the germs could be more easily spread.
Washing your hands regularly can also help to eliminate germs, or if you’re in a position where you are unable to do this, use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content until you can wash your hands thoroughly.
Putting these actions in place can help minimise the spread of germs and infection and help to keep both you and others well during the winter months.
Good nutrition is key to boosting your immune system during the colder months. And there’s no magic ingredient; if you’re wondering how to keep well this winter, the answer lies in a healthy, balanced diet.
You should eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables daily and include seeds, nuts and whole grains, such as whole grain bread and pasta. Include foods rich in zinc, such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy, selenium, such as Brazil nuts and Vitamin D.
Foods to avoid
Avoid refined carbs and sugar, as sugar can impact your immune system, preventing phagocytes, the cells that consume viruses, bugs and infections, from working correctly. Refined sugars can be found in pastries and breads, so cut back on these during the winter months.
Another way to prioritise your winter wellbeing is to improve your gut health.
Roughly 70-80% of our immune cells are in our gut, so if you regularly suffer from gut-related illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, your immune system could take a hit.
This is where superfoods come into play. Add foods that contain essential nutrients and antioxidants, such as garlic, ginger and turmeric, to your diet.
These food groups are known to naturally reduce inflammation whilst providing essential vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system and improve the gastrointestinal system’s health naturally.
Citrus fruits, cabbage, kale and chard, pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds, almonds and goji berries are all known to improve immune health and function, so pack your diet with these.
Vitamin D can be difficult to get from your diet, and in the UK, we don’t get enough sunlight in winter for our bodies to make the vitamin D they need. Although you can find vitamin D in foods such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, livers and some fortified spreads and cereals, vitamin D can be difficult to acquire if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Supplementing Vitamin D in winter is your best bet to ensure your body gets enough of it during the darker months, particularly if your diet is meat-free. Getting enough vitamin D is paramount to improving your mood and keeping seasonal depression at bay, so add plenty to your diet to improve your winter wellbeing.
3. Stay hydrated
Hydration is key to happy and healthy winter wellbeing.
Whether you drink herbal teas or simply stick to water, you’ll give your immune cells the best chance of performing at their best, as they work more effectively when hydrated.
A hydrated body keeps the immune system in the best position to fight viruses and infections. For best results, aim to drink at least two litres of water per day, increasing the amount after a heavy workout.
Not only will your immune system benefit from this, but your skin will stay hydrated, too! Artificial heat from radiators and central heating systems is renowned for hydrating the skin, sometimes leaving it cracked and sore. Staying on top of your hydration can help nourish it and reduce this risk.
4. Exercise regularly
Winter may feel like the best time to scale back your exercise routine, but exercise is great for your mental health and winter wellbeing.
Performing regular exercise can help to flush infections out of the body. It helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, improving circulation and aiding the immune cells in identifying and removing viruses and harmful bacteria.
If you’re able to, aim to exercise outdoors during the winter. Whatever your exercise of choice, whether running, cycling or walking, exercising outside will enable you to get some natural daylight, helping to improve your mood and sleep pattern.
5. Sleep well
A consistent sleep schedule is a great way to boost your winter wellness.
Prioritising anything from seven to nine hours of good sleep per night helps to give your body the optimum amount of recovery time and can prevent illness. Those who regularly sleep less than six hours per night are more susceptible to picking up an infection.
The immune system fights off infection more effectively when the body is asleep. It produces proteins which target infection, keeping germs at bay.
To achieve the perfect sleeping conditions, keep your bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature. Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime, and try to keep your schedule the same, irrespective of whether it’s a weekday or a weekend.
Oversleeping can have adverse effects, so avoid the temptation to hibernate. Longer sleep, defined as sleeping for more than nine hours every night, is linked to decreased immune function, so strike that balance and curate the perfect sleep schedule.
6. Stay warm
With winter just around the corner, it’s time to prepare for the onset of colder weather.
To stay healthy, you must start thinking about staying warm this winter. Colder bodies are more vulnerable to infection, particularly those with health conditions.
Start by keeping your home heated to around 18•C. Regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal daily keep your body warm and your immune system functioning effectively.
When leaving the house, wrap up warm. Eat regularly to keep your energy levels up, and then have a hot bath on your return.
These small steps will help keep infection at bay and prevent you from developing cold-related illnesses such as pneumonia, particularly if you are over 60.
Boost your winter wellness at Discount Supplements
Prioritise your wellness this winter by following our top tips for winter self-care.
Combining the correct amount of sleep, nutritious foods, hydration, exercise, and keeping warm will significantly decrease your chances of becoming ill this winter. Adapting your routine to include these practices will also help to improve your mood, making it much easier to face the dark, gloomy months filled with positivity.
To supplement your winter wellness routine, look no further than our wellbeing range at Discount Supplements. From all the best vitamins and minerals to help you boost your immune system to immune support options and antioxidants to help you fight those free radicals, it’s never been easier to keep your health and wellness in check this winter.