Have You Winterized Your Body?

Winterize your body
Photo by Adrian Pelletier on Pixnio

When winter returns, it’s easy to get into an unhealthy rut that doesn’t do any favors for your body or your mind, even if you’re bundled up or staying in. Follow these tips to keep your body adaptable and resilient when winter comes back.

Keep Up Your Routines

Wintertime means shorter and much colder days. It’s harder to convince ourselves that outside is where we need to be. Getting outside during the daytime can help regulate melatonin (ooh, easier sleep at night!) and it can increase Vitamin D production to keep our spirits up. There are plenty of wintertime activities you can get back into (or try for the first time) including:

  • snowshoeing
  • cross-country skiing
  • ice skating

Finding something that’s seasonal can be something to look forward to, especially during winter. It’s also fun to explore the outdoors and see what your favorite hiking paths look like during the winter. If that’s not quite convincing enough, understand that factors like obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to a range of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, not to mention decreased quality of life. So—keep up the good routines.

Rest Enough

Speaking of melatonin, it’s vital that you get enough rest. This can help your body heal from illness (like that cold that’s going around the office) and strengthen your immune system so you can avoid taking a sick day. Sleep is also important to help boost your mood and keep you more focused and productive at work. In short, it may not be worth it to stay up late finishing a project if you can get to sleep now and wake up refreshed and ready the next day.

Limit Sugar—Eat Real Food

Sugar is good—to our tastebuds. But that’s pretty much where the goodness ends. Limit your sugar intake to avoid its harmful health effects, such as:

  • Increased risks of chronic diseases
  • Weight gain
  • Tooth decay
  • Chronic inflammation that compromises immune system processes

Whole, real foods can be helpful to your body—they’re full of vitamins and minerals that your body can easily absorb, and help your body’s systems: digestive to lymphatic.

Hydrate Like Your Life Depends On It

(Spoiler alert: it does!) Water is essential to optimal body function. It helps flush out your systems (with the excellent help of the liver and kidneys) and keep all your cells happy. Headache? Drink water. Tired? Drink water. Constipation? Drink water. Diarrhea? Drink water. It should be your main drink of choice, all day, every day.

As we enter the Holiday season, it’s also easy to drink more eggnog and alcoholic beverages than normal. Although tasty, drinks like these are dehydrating and require more water intake in order to maintain healthy hydration.


Mental Health: Check Ups and Check Ins

Make your mental health a priority. Check in with yourself and check in with your friends and family—especially if you or others live alone. Try to make activities that involve a friend or two so you can get some social time in. Wintertime is notoriously isolating and depressing, with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) on the rise while the gray and fog and wet creep in. Check in with those you love frequently. Create a plan for small dinner parties, or head to a warm movie theater to enjoy “getting out” while staying comfortable and cozy.

Also, ensure you’re managing your stress—exercise and lifestyle changes (like diet) can impact your stress levels. Don’t overdo it, but do stay active and keep your diet balanced while you figure out how to manage stress with breathing exercises, shutting off the phone, or taking a mental health day.


Take Supplements + Come in for Adjustments

Your immune system and other body systems sometimes need a little boost. Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns, and they can make supplement recommendations based on what they believe you need to help your body function as its best. With shorter days and more time indoors, getting more vitamin D3 is key for immune support. For additional immune support, coming in for regular adjustments has, in our experience, helped us and our families get sick less often. In cold and flu season, that’s a big deal. Chiropractic is just one part of your whole wellness picture.


Use Common Sense

If it’s icy outside, wear good shoes and walk carefully. Keep your car maintained to avoid accidents, too. Wear a helmet if you head to the slopes. If you do happen to slip on ice, get in a car accident, or have pain and/or discomfort, come in to see us right away. We can help you get more comfortable, and we can determine if there’s any damage or additional medical needs and make a plan to get you back in your element.