Yes, it's only October and yes, there are a few states that are still experiencing 80 degrees plus. However, for those of us up north the impending doom of negative numbers is not that far off. It's always best to prepare in advance so that when it does finally come, we're not completely taken off guard or by surprise. So the LWASOC team put our brains together and did a little digging to come up with a few tips so you can stay healthy during the cooler weather when colds and flus are rampant.
1. Stay hydrated. This is a year-round must but a lot of people don't realize the importance of staying hydrated in the wintertime. Not only does water keep your organs running, it helps keep your skin clear and your digestive system running properly. Another reason to stay hydrated is, again, your skin. Cold, dry weather pulls the moisture out of skin like a sponge. That's why we're bound to experience the dry, flaky, itchy skin in the colder months. Keeping hydrated, and also applying lots of moisturizer, will help with that big time.
2. Get plenty of sleep. Bears are onto something with their hibernation patterns. Don't you wish you could hibernate through winter too? Just stay in bed with Netflix on auto? Unfortunately, us humans are not so lucky. Sleep is still very important though. Your body does a lot of healing and rejuvenation as you sleep. If you're coming down with a bug and don't know it, regular sleep patterns will help keep you healthy and being well-rested every morning will make it a little easier for you to conquer the day.
3. Nutritionize those comfort foods. Soup is the best winter meal but it can also be packed in sodium. Comfort food is awesome but it also tends to be stuff that's not particularly great for us. Try some healthy substitutions for your favorite comfort foods or make your own so you're in control of the ingredients. I love making soup in the wintertime but I'm very aware of the sodium content which could make a super healthy soup not so healthy.
4. Stay active. Just because it's cold out does not mean you have an excuse to become a couch potato. Get up! Yes, limit your time outdoors on those bitter cold days but also make sure to get to the gym or workout classes. Start looking into those one on one Pilates sessions, take up kickboxing. You can even do workouts in the comfort of your own home. Tone It Up and Blogilates are great sites to get weekly workout schedules that don't involve a gym or extra equipment. I usually create my workout schedule using Tone It Up's weekly workouts as a guide.
5. Stay warm. You'd think this one is obvious but you've clearly never been downtown on a Friday night in January in the city of Chicago. I will never understand girls that are out in teeny tiny dresses and strappy heels in the dead of winter. Not only are you risking frostbite and hypothermia, you're just downright crazy in my opinion. It might not be fashion-forward all the time but please, please make sure to layer and cover as much skin as you possibly can. No guy or free admission to a club is worth hypothermia or blackened, frostbitten fingers. On the flip side, try not to go from extreme temperatures. If you just finished hot yoga, allow yourself to come back to a somewhat normal temperature before walking outside. Going from one extreme to the next can put the body in shock, even if you're not aware of it.
Just remember, you have one body. Make it count. Winter is one of my personal favorite times of year but lots of people find it excruciating to brave. It can get pretty ridiculous up here in Chicago but it's always good to keep these tips in mind no matter where you live. Whether it's 40 degrees or 10, do whatever you need to in order to stay healthy...even if it's less than glamorous.