As the winter season approaches, it is particularly important to get your health on track.
Some of the most important reasons to prepare your body early before the winter season include:
- Infections and viruses tend to proliferate in winter, so you need a strong immune system
- There is generally more pressure placed on your digestive system when you eat much denser, cold-climate foods which can compound your susceptibility to colds and flu
- It is usually more difficult to stay active during the winter months, which means you want to be in good physical condition to carry you through!
This means, it is a good time to raise your self care awareness and to level up a few important areas that will serve you well during winter if you start now.
Also, a healthy, robust routine during winter will reap you the benefits when the warmer months roll around helping you to feel lighter and brighter in spring!
Here, we share six handy tips for you to keep in mind and embrace in time for winter if you're not already.
1. Boost Your Immunity
It's no secret that in winter there are more bugs and viruses in the air which can play havoc with a weak immune system.
The key is to pay attention to the obvious common-sense actions that cause your body to build its natural defences - clean air, exercise, sunshine, clean water and fresh food.
If you're conscious of these things in winter, you can greatly reduce the chances of getting sick which can derail you from looking and feeling your best.
Here's some tips to boost your immunity naturally:
- Get enough sleep - A lack of sleep is one of the primary causes of weakened immunity. Aim to get 6-8 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, try diffusing Lavender Peace Essential Oil next to your bed or add a few drops to your pillow and rub in to the souls of your feet before bed;
- Manage Stress - stress is one of the fastest ways to lower your immune function, so it's important to manage it effectively. Practice some form of meditation, yoga, morning sun gazing or earthing (walking on the grass or beach in bare feet). Just 15-30 minutes per day can have a big impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing and supporting your immunity;
- Eat plenty of plant foods/vegetables because they're loaded with natural fibres that will support a healthy digestive system, which can otherwise be a breeding ground for the proliferation of bad bacteria, which causes illness and disease;
- Eat Citrus - Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Limes, Tangerines are all loaded with immune-boosting, virus-fighting Vitamin C. Add a variety of these to your diet on a weekly basis to protect against infection and viral overwhelm;
- Eat Good Fats - Include plenty of healthy, plant oils in your diet which also support healthy digestion and immune function. Examples include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Macadamia Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Coconut Oil and Avocados.
- Eat Fermented Foods - Fermented foods cultivate a healthy gut microbiome, ensuring that the good bacteria outweigh the bad. This is essential for a strong immune system. Include some of the following foods - organic cheeses and yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, pickles, tempeh and miso.
Also, to help support your immune system have our Nature’s Silver Bullet Immunity Booster handy at this time of year. This is one of our most popular products that can assist to fight bacterial, fungal and viral infection before it takes hold.
2. Exercise Daily
Just because the weather is getting cooler it doesn’t mean you should stop moving.
Exercise is crucial for keeping your body healthy and strong at any time of year, but it is particularly important to continue with light to moderate physical activity during winter to provide extra support to your immune and respiratory system.
At the very least, complete a brisk outdoor walk for at 30-45 minutes per day and work up a very light sweat if you can to keep your eliminatory channels working.
Exercise will also help you to sleep better, which allows your body to reset and and recover, support circulation and help you to maintain a healthy weight.
If you have the ability and desire to add extra exercise into your weekly routine, choose some low impact options that support muscle tone and mobility, such as pilates, yoga, light weights, stair climbing and circuit training. Or simply spend 10-15 minutes a few times per week doing some basic lunges, squats, burpees and/or push ups at home just by using your body weight.
3. Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Sunshine
Winter isn’t the time to hibernate indoors for weeks on end.
Your body needs fresh air and sunshine to maintain health and thrive just as much as it does during summer, it's just harder to do when it's cold.
Fresh moving electrified air is crucial for a healthy functioning respiratory system. On the other hand, spending countless hours in stale stagnant air is one of the primary causes of respiratory congestion and lowered immunity.
Slightly open your windows at night when you sleep if you live in a safe neighbourhood and get outside first thing in the morning and practice 5-10 minutes of deep breathing whenever possible.
If you are stuck in doors for prolonged periods or if you can't get fresh air when you sleep, turn a ceiling fan or box fan very lightly to at least keep the air moving in your bedroom and living quarters. Remember that when air stagnates, it is much easy for respiratory problems to proliferate.
When it comes to sunshine, studies show that we need moderate exposure on a regular basis to allow the liver to manufacture enough vitamin D to support your health and wellbeing. Not only that, sunshine is very effective at reducing the effects of emotional imbalances and problems such as anxiety and depression, which can become an issue during the darker, colder months.
There are lots of different ways you can get regular exposure to natural sunlight, including a morning walk along the beach or in your local neighbourhood, sitting on a park bench to enjoy your morning tea or lunch, or parking some distance from your office so that you can enjoy a leisurely walk in the sunshine.
The point is, just because the temperature is colder, don't avoid sunshine. Consciously remind yourself to get a little sunshine often and you'll have it made.
4. Drink Enough Water
In the cooler months, it is easy to forget to drink the optimum amount of water each day which is a mistake.
Remember, you should aim to drink at least 2 litres of water per day, or 1 litre per 22 kilos of body weight if you're particularly physically active, to hydrate your cells and brain and to assist your body to flush out toxins.
This might seem obvious, but it’s an alarming fact that most of us are at least slightly dehydrated most of the time. Water is the essence of life, and you simply can’t be healthy if you’re not giving your body enough water.
Water is vital for every single bodily function, and the effects of dehydration range from fatigue to headaches, and even more serious disorders.
Therefore, it is a good idea to drink more water than you think you need or feel like drinking every single day. This will help ensure your body has what it needs to run most efficiently, which is extra important during the winter season to help manage the extra demands your body will face.
5. Plan Healthy Snacks
Poor snack choices is one of the biggest culprits for falling off the wagon, particularly in winter.
It is true that you will likely and naturally consume more calories in winter than you will in summer, but the key is to ensure that you're eating quality calories - even at snack time.
This means, you should try to avoid processed, sugary and fatty snacks such as muffins and pastries; and instead go with more wholesome alternatives that won't rapidly raise your blood sugar and cause you to crash and burn.
One of the best snacks to have access to at all times is raw nuts like almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts. Super convenient, delicious and nutritious, they are not only very enjoyable to eat, but loaded with fibres, good fats and protein to keep you satiated, focussed and energised.
If you're looking for ultimate, convenient healthy snack food options, stock up on our Pulse Sacred Meal or delightful, crunchy Cornucopia Epicurean Snack
6. Do A Cleanse
With every change of season, it is a good idea to support your body to do a little "house cleaning".
Seasonal "house cleaning" is an ancient wisdom that can be practiced in different ways, such as a few days juice fasting, water fasting or on a raw detox diet.
The purpose of a cleanse is to support your digestive system to eliminate accumulated stored waste that is weighing you down, potentially causing you to feel sluggish, run down and your body to not be functioning optimally.
One of the easiest ways to cleanse is by doing a raw juice fast for 3-7 days on a range of fresh cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juices. You can experiment with a variety of recipes using local, seasonal produce such as apples, celery, carrots, beets, spinach, cucumbers, lemons, limes, ginger and mint.
Another option, is to combine a mic of raw juices, smoothies, salads and soups for 7-10 days to ease the weight on your digestive system and to help your body reset and feel lighter.
Whichever you choose, it is also a good idea for a couple of days either side of your cleanse to do a colon cleanse with a product such as our Cleanse Me Natural Colon Cleanse - prepared from a combination of Australian Food-Grade Bentonite Clay, Psyllium Husk and Ground Flaxseed.
Cleanse Me is a simple two-part product that you alternate throughout the day, which will help extract stored debris in your digestive tract - which can otherwise deplete your immunity and weigh you down.
The Main Take Away
As we head into the colder months, it is a great idea to sharpen up your self care mindset and to make some simple adjustments to equip your body to deal with the greater demands of the winter season.
Eat foods that support and strengthen your immunity, exercise daily, drink plenty of water and ensure you get regular sunshine. These aspects are fundamental to supporting a healthy body not only year round, but particularly through winter.
By doing the little things right, it will become effortless, you'll breeze through winter and you'll look and feel your best when the spring season rolls around.
Tolman Self Care.