How to Have a Healthy Winter

Jillian Berndtson

| 2 min read

Senior couple ice skating in the sunshine.
Holidays, cold weather, school breaks and travel can all add up to a busy and stressful winter season. During these chaotic months, it’s easy to abandon self-care simply because you can’t fit it in, but during these times it’s even more important to take care of yourself to avoid negative health consequences.
Reducing stress is important for mental health, especially for combating seasonal affective disorder. Getting daily doses of sunlight can help to alleviate symptoms of depression during the winter. Seeing friends and going to social events may also help to lessen stress during the winter months. Whatever your preferred method, be sure to take time to relax.
It is also important to get the proper amount of sleep each night. The American Psychological Association (APA) recommends an average of eight hours per night to give your body the break it needs. To get the best night’s sleep, avoid heavy meals before bedtime and try to stick to a routine schedule. Exercising also helps to promote a better sleep pattern.
The winter months bring many illnesses with them. It’s important to build your immune system to avoid the cold and flu. You can take simple steps to strengthen your immune system in your daily activities. Getting enough sleep and going outside are two ways to help. You can also add certain recipes and foods and drinks into your meal planning as a tasty way to fight sickness. As always, one of the easiest ways to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands often, especially before you eat.
Even though the weather may be cold, it’s important to maintain an exercise routine during the winter. Whether it’s going for a walk in the morning or hitting the ski hills on the weekends, working out is an important part of staying healthy all year long. Exercising outside can help you connect with nature, known to relieve stress, but an in-home workout routine is also beneficial.
Whatever activities you partake in during the winter, make sure you are doing so safely. Know when the temperature is too cold to go outside and always be careful when walking on ice or snow.
What is your favorite way to stay healthy through the winter? Share with us in the comments.
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Photo credit: Halfpoint

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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