It’s that time of year again where our daily routines are interrupted by the chilly weather and the inability to leave the comfy confines of our bed. Our skincare routine is in dire need of some love, and maintaining exercise completely goes out the window. We also become prone to the flu and our immune system weakens. However, we mustn’t let the season take over our vital need to stay on top of our health, so here are four essential steps to remain healthy during the winter season:
Improve your sleep
Winter is clearly not as harsh on Australians as it is for many other people on the other side of the world, but we still fall victim to adjusting to the cold, the shorter days and the longer nights. Our inner body clock tends to take the shorter days where the sun sets earlier as a cue for our bodies to wind down and get ready to rest and recharge. The lack of sunlight causes higher production of melatonin in our bodies which can cause the body to feel more fatigued and need more sleep. We must take this as a good opportunity to get a good night’s rest to restore our energy from the day’s hustle and bustle. To ensure the soundest of sleeps, switch off electronics to avoid disruption, wind down with soft music or a relaxing bath, make the room dark, layer up, maintain a consistent sleep pattern (ensuring a full eight hours sleep), adjust the temperature, and clean your surroundings before bedtime.
It’s no secret that winter conspires to eliminate all that moisture from our skin leaving it dry and dehydrated. Worse, the chilly wind causes the skin to crack, flake, bleed, itch and become increasingly uncomfortable. To combat the effects of winter on our skin, aim to use a thick moisturiser with natural, restoring ingredients to relieve the irritated skin, keeping it soft and hydrated (tip: oil-based products are far better than petroleum-based ingredients for this season). Also aim to protect your skin with clothing layers, drink lots of fluids throughout the day (inner hydration is just as necessary), avoid excessively hot showers or baths and maintain a nourishing skincare routine including exfoliating, moisturising and hydrating masks. Oh, and did we forget to mention to moisturise?
Consume nourishing, healthy foods
Much like our skin, our insides need to be just as nourished to keep up a healthy, strong immune system to avoid nasty colds and the flu. It’s important to try reach for winter comfort foods that are high in nutrients as opposed to sugary foods. Eating meals containing vitamin D help to combat the lack of sunlight, as well as vitamin A and C to help the onslaught of colds. Some of our favourite winter meals are made from essential immune-boosting ingredients and offer illness protection, such as dark leafy greens, fish, eggs, mushrooms, bok choy, cheese, citrus fruits, carrots, sweet potato, ginger, nuts and tomatoes.
The biggest challenge during winter is getting out of bed and moving as we tend to hibernate under layers of blankets to avoid the freezing cold. However, for our body to function at its maximum potential and to fight off nasty colds, staying active and healthy is key. Exercising through walking or yoga are good places to start to get blood pumping throughout the body and to raise our body’s core temperature (naturally) for warmth. Walking in the winter particularly benefits us by boosting our brain and mood, gives us some much-needed sunlight for vitamin D production, and helps us to stay fit. Yoga helps with breathing to clear chest congestion, works as a mood-changer, prevents aches and stiffness of the joints and strengthens body immunity. The right clothing can also make a huge difference in experiencing exercise in the winter, so invest in some thicker socks, comfortable footwear, a lightweight fleece, an athletic hoodie, long tights, a beanie and a pair of gloves.
With these essential tips and Spring & Grove to keep you hydrated, will you be kicking winter to the curb?