At this time of year, keeping healthy can take a back seat.
But stress, not eating right, and taking on too much can weaken your immune system. And the last thing you want right now is a cold on top of everything else!
For the good of your health and your weight loss success, it’s important to take care of yourself. So here we have some advice about how to keep healthy this winter.
Plus, we advise you on the best ways to treat a cold while you’re on a diet.
6 Tips To Keep Healthy This Winter
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to your health. And, avoiding illness means you have more energy to put into your weight loss journey!
Here are six ways to ensure that you keep healthy this winter.
1. Stay Hydrated
Keeping enough fluids in your body lets blood circulate more freely. This allows virus-fighting white blood cells to get in a position to fight off infection.
If you feel that you’re coming down with something, then drinking more water will help keep your throat lubricated.
2. Eat Health-Boosting Foods
Eating nutritious food can help you to keep healthy and support your immune system.
But, during flu season, you need all the help you can get. Thanks to their high vitamin D content, mushrooms are great for immune system support.
In particular, shiitake mushrooms are great for fighting the flu as they contain a strong antiviral substance called lentinan. Garlic is another winter winner as it contains allicin, a powerful antibacterial antioxidant.
Vitamins A and C are also important to boost immunity; load up on seasonal fruit and veggies like carrots, sweet potato, and tangerines to get a boost.
Taking a good multivitamin at this time of year can also help you keep healthy.
3. Catch Your Z’s
As well as helping you to lose weight, sleep is crucial for good health. Clocking seven to eight hours of sleep a night helps your body to work at maximum capacity and gives your immune system the chance to do its job – pushing out white blood cells to kill germs.
If you start to feel under the weather, go to bed earlier, as extra shut-eye gives the body more time to fix itself.
4. Activate Your Immune System
You might not feel like exercising in the cold weather. But, wrapping up and going for a walk can help strengthen immunity.
Or, if you prefer to stay indoors, a quick workout at home can help you avoid a cold. As well as many other added benefits, regular exercise improves circulation and boosts the immune system.
However, be especially sure to wipe down gym equipment before and after using it to avoid the spread of germs. And if you do catch a bug, take a few days off so your body can use that energy to kick the virus.
5. Release the Stress
Remember also to schedule some time for yourself, whether that means hitting the yoga mat, taking a long bath, or relaxing with some music.
Both mental and physical stress can throw off your immune system-influencing hormones, making you more likely to pick up a cold or the flu.
Stress is also bad for weight loss as it messes with hunger and satiety signals, causing cravings and emotional eating.
Be on the watch for stress that causes headaches, changes your appetite, or affects your sleep—all are indicators that your body’s having trouble coping and that you may be overdoing it.
6. Spice Things Up
Not only do seasonings like pepper and chilies add flavor, they also boost metabolism and help fight off colds.
In fact, these spices have been used in traditional cold remedies for centuries. Adding onion and garlic to a dish can help soothe an inflamed throat, as they both have strong antibacterial activity.
Last but not least, this time of year wouldn’t be the same without cinnamon, which also helps fight colds and flu. Plus, it’s great for keeping sweet cravings at bay and stabilizing your mood and energy levels.
What To Do If You Get Sick
Even if you try your hardest to keep healthy, it’s difficult to avoid picking up a bug or two at this time of year. So, what should you do if you come down with something?
Firstly, if you feel any signs of a cold coming on, such as a sore throat, sneezing, or achy limbs, then you should stop it in its tracks by taking ibuprofen and getting an early night.
If you do get a cold, drink plenty of water and eat soups and stews to keep fluid levels up. You should rest as much as possible to conserve energy to fight infection.
But, sometimes getting out in the fresh air can help too. So, once you feel you’re over the worst of it, wrap up warm and go outside for a quick walk.
How do you keep healthy during the winter? Let us know if you have any tips by commenting below!