Now Is the Time to Start Your Winter Wellness Habits

Now Is the Time to Start Your Winter Wellness Habits

Spring and summer are usually considered more active seasons for many women. These are times when the weather is warmer and more pleasant. Nature is in bloom, and we can go outdoors to enjoy the scenery and fresh air, usually without a jacket.

It’s a time when people tend to want to be outside. They move more and get more physical activity by hiking, swimming, or playing sports.

When fall begins, the seasons start to change. The temperature gets cooler, and the daylight hours grow shorter. Most people find themselves wanting to stay indoors, moving less, and eating more. It’s almost like our version of hibernation.

Staying in, resting, and enjoying your favorite foods isn’t inherently bad. However, it can become a problem if it turns into a habit. Staying indoors also reduces the amount of sunlight we are exposed to daily.

When sunlight hits the skin, the body creates vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to support healthy muscles, teeth, and bones.

Women should care about their health and wellness all year long, not just when the weather is agreeable. It’s essential to have a plan to remain active during the fall and winter seasons. What can you do to begin your winter wellness routine?

Exercise Should Still Be a Part of Your Schedule

It can be tough to fight the urge to stay inside and become a couch potato during the colder months. Make sure you plan for exercise to be a regular part of your weekly schedule.

Adults are advised to get 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per week. Women are advised to try to fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day for five days each week. Even if you aren’t up to that standard yet, any extra activity is a good thing.

Make a point to sit less during the day. Remember to include strength training activities in your workout routine.

Find Alternative Sources of Vitamin D

Less sunlight means less vitamin D for your body. As mentioned above, this vitamin is valuable to your physical health.

You should look for alternative sources of vitamin D to ensure that you get the amount you need. You can take a supplement or make sure you are eating foods rich in vitamin D. Good choices include fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and swordfish as well as:

  • Beef liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Vitamin-D fortified milk
  • Vitamin-D fortified orange juice
  • Cod liver oil
  • Fortified cereals

You can also get a UVB lamp to create artificial sunlight at home. These are sometimes called light therapy lamps. Just keep in mind that you should only use them as your doctor recommends because just like the sun, they can increase your skin cancer risk.

Use Meditation for Relaxation and Brain Function

Meditation is a valuable tool for mental health and brain function. Use it during the cooler seasons to help improve your overall wellbeing.

Meditation lowers the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It increases energy levels and improves sleep quality. The best thing is that you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be at home, and you don’t have to sit cross-legged in yoga pants (but you can if you want to).

One basic method is to close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes at a time. This can also be a helpful tool when dealing with the stress of shopping and social commitments during the holidays.

Stick to a Healthy Diet That Relies on Moderation

One of the best things about the fall and winter seasons are the holidays. There’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years to look forward to this time of year.

All those parties, gatherings, and dinners can quickly lead to bad eating habits. We tend to overindulge because it is a special occasion. Many eat more desserts and sweets as well as fattier foods. We are more likely to go off our usual diets and drink more alcohol.

It’s ok to enjoy the flavors of the season. If you are going to, make sure you do so in moderation. You may want to trade off by cutting back on one dessert so that you can enjoy another. Make sure the bad holiday eating habits don’t make their way into your normal routine at home.

Not only will this help you maintain a healthy body weight, but it will also give you more energy so you can do more and see more during the holiday festivities. You will feel better overall so you can enjoy every moment of the season.

Make a Point to Go Outside and Get Fresh Air

It may be more difficult to go outside during the cooler seasons, but make sure you do. Moving around in the fresh air and sun is good for you.

This may require a change in schedule if you work most of the day. The evening will get darker earlier, and the sun may not rise until later. If you can adjust your schedule to allow for a brief walk in the morning or evening, plan to do so.

Many people don’t have the luxury of changing their schedules seasonally. Instead, try to fit in a quick walk or a little time outdoors during the afternoon. Spending the last half or quarter of your lunch hour outside will do wonders for your wellbeing.

If you have to wait to pick up the kids after school, try sitting outside of your car instead of inside. You may have to get creative, but there are things you can do now to live a more active lifestyle.

Protect Your Eyes When Going Outside in the Sun

While we think of summertime as the sunniest season, this isn’t always the case. Regions that see a lot of snow can be extremely bright on sunny days. Ice and snow tend to magnify and reflect sunlight. Your eyes could suffer more damage after one hour of direct exposure in a snowy region than on an entire day spent outdoors during spring and summer.

Corneal sunburn, or acute snow blindness, is a temporary eye pain experienced after too much UV light exposure. While this is a concern, so are many other long-term problems that can form, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Skin cancer
  • Intraocular melanoma

If you plan to spend time outdoors, protect your eyes and skin. This is especially important if you live in or plan to visit an area with a lot of snow.

Keep Your Bedroom Cool for Better Quality Rest

You may be tempted to turn up the thermostat when the temperature outside drops. It’s ok to make your home toasty during the afternoon or evening, but make sure your bedroom isn’t too warm.

When we sleep at night, our body temperature lowers. By keeping your sleeping area at a lower temperature, you will help facilitate the decrease that allows for deeper sleep. That means you’ll get better rest and are more likely to wake up feeling refreshed.

A lower temperature also helps with melatonin production, which is a hormone that is used in the sleep-wake cycle. It helps synchronize circadian rhythms and assists with blood pressure regulation.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 65 and 70 degrees F. Also, resist the urge to pile on too many blankets.

Schedule a Check-up with Your Doctor

Now is a good time to schedule a check-up with your doctor. They can advise you on how to maintain a healthy winter wellness routine. They may also suggest screenings or provide recommendations that will help you stay as healthy as possible during the coldest, darkest part of the year.

Visit Complete Women’s Healthcare now to request an appointment for a wellness check or if you have questions about your health.