They say that summer bodies are made in the winter. But while your focus should be on doing things that make you feel good in your own skin instead, we say that winter is the perfect time to start getting fit and healthy so that you’re ready to enjoy plenty of outdoor fun when warm weather returns.
Unfortunately, chilly temperatures can sometimes make it tough to enjoy some of the workouts and activities you enjoy the rest of the year.
If you’re looking to start getting healthy this winter, it’s important that you take care of yourself. As your mental and physical health are largely connected, taking care of your body means that you are also taking care of your mind.
Let’s take a look at some tips that will help you enjoy a healthy, happy winter season.
Regular physical activity is a significant part of a healthy lifestyle in every season. While you might not be able to run outside or take a dip in the pool, there are plenty of other ways to get your sweat on when temperatures drop below freezing.
Of course, you could head to your local gym. Or, you can get creative with your workout. Live somewhere that gets a lot of snow? Cross country skiing or snowshoeing is a great cardio workout. Bundle up and take a walk around your neighborhood. Or, visit an indoor trampoline park, indoor pool, or try out an exercise class. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure you keep any type of exercise that gets your blood pumping in your routine to stay fresh and healthy inside and out.
Too many people make the assumption that just because it’s cold outside, they can’t get a sunburn. And it is true that the sun’s angle towards the earth is different this season, so UV rays are slightly less strong. However, this doesn’t mean that your skin can’t burn, or otherwise suffer the harmful effects of UV rays.
Whether you’re braving the cold for a mid-day run or hitting the slopes, you should protect your skin the same way that you do in the middle of summer. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. A good sunscreen helps in blocking the harmful effects of the sun’s rays on your skin along while reducing signs of aging.
Some people turn to tanning beds and sunlamps to keep their summer glow going in the winter. But these can cause serious long-term skin damage and increase your risk for developing skin cancer.
During the summer, vacations, long days, and the draw of beautiful weather keep many of us very busy. Now that winter is here, take advantage of a slower pace and take time to connect with friends and family. Meet up for coffee or plan a cozy weekend getaway together. You can even add some healthy exercise to your winter vacay, like skiing or hiking.
You don’t have to necessarily spend big on get-togethers. What matters is that you’re spending time with people who make you feel happy and relaxed.
Shorter days mean that many of us head indoors earlier than we do the rest of the year. Use this time to take a mental break.
Take time for yourself and do some meditation, listen to your favorite music, catch up on TV shows you love, or even read a book. Besides giving your body a chance to relax, doing something you enjoy can help refresh your mind.
Just as it’s possible to get a sunburn in the winter, it’s also possible to get dehydrated, though you may not feel it in the same way that you do in warmer temperatures.
In the summer, the hot sun and fewer layers of clothing make it obvious when you’re overheating and your body needs water. But when it’s cold, you might not realize just how dehydrated you’re getting until it’s too late.
Regardless of the time of year, you should always aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, even when you aren’t spending time outdoors. If you know that you’ll be going outside and getting your heart rate up later in the day, avoid sugary beverages and alcohol that further dehydrate your body.
Eating a balanced diet is important to keep your body healthy. While it’s great to indulge in your favorite foods, make sure that you’re getting plenty of fresh fruits and veggies each day as well. Winter is a great time to get creative with your veggies. Kale, brussel sprouts, and swiss chard are all winter veggies that are often overlooked.
While it’s easy to fall into the winter blues when the temperatures drop, it’s easy to turn this season into one of growth and healthy changes for your mind and body. Don’t let the cold weather or shorter days stand in the way of you having a healthy, happy winter!