The coming winter season will be busy for most of us with most of the events like holiday parties, dinners, and preparation & planning for gifting, and many more distractions to divert our focus from taking care of health and ourselves as normally.
Moreover, the winter or rainy season comes always after the summer holidays, because of this, most of us feel little lull in our motivation and loses confidence levels to be active on works, and some feel little depression by remembering all their expenses which happened during the holidays, and others lose their regular diet timings and habit of taking healthy food. Often, the winter makes us miss the gym or any exercise activities.
It is little difficult to be motivated for staying fit and healthy because of these winter short days and cool weather, there is a chance of weakening our immune system and risk of getting diseases or injuries. This cool climate creates numerous risks for us, and to the people around us, and some were not even aware of them.
Being aware of these safety risks, illness or lower energy levels coming ahead helps us to prevent them or at least we can deal with them easily as the symptoms arise. There are many tips and plans to stay fit, healthy and safe in this winter season, these all healthy habits help us to be aware of our health conditions when we feel better and what we do to improve them during this season.
Tips for Diet and Exercise
In the winter season, there is a chance of an increase in risks of weather-related injuries, meanwhile, the major risk is paying no attention towards our health, diet and missing workout schedule at the gym. This kind of chilly and cool weather lessens our motivation to hit the gym and makes us spend most of the time indoors and many of us take snacks more than we consume typically in other seasons, this kind of combo activities increases the weight in our body and meanwhile reduces our happiness and confidence levels.
Maintaining necessary diet and workout routines is must to reduce health risks. According to sources, 781 people are dying every winter in India due to cold or flu. Some of the winter healthy diet and workout tips to be fit and healthy during the winter season:
1. Take less carbohydrate contained food.
In winter, due to cool weather, we tend to take the food which contains excess carbohydrates and some other comfort foods. After we consume this tasty food, levels of our serotonin increases in our body, which is responsible for making our brain think happier, so day by day eating this kind of foods may increases.
To avoid this, should try eating rich protein contained breakfast to maintain our energy levels high until the end of the day. Meanwhile, in afternoon, still craving sweets or tasty foods, should take low-fat and healthy kind snacks. However, there are other ways to increase the levels of serotonin with less carbohydrate food.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats which can be found naturally in many foods items that are fish, nuts, and plant seeds. There are multiple health benefits because of them, naturally, they are anti-inflammatory, and studies say that they help in lowering the depression levels which everyone commonly feels during the winter’s short days.
3. Pick Mushrooms
We know that there are several kinds of mushrooms which boosts our immune systems and provides other health benefits, that’s because antibiotics occur in them naturally. These have many medicinal properties, which protects us from many kinds of illnesses. Shouldn’t forget to pick common or Shiitake mushrooms in the basket while at shopping in a grocery store in winter.
4. Consume More Fiber
Apples, nuts, and oats contain rich soluble fiber, this is the great way to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, mainly helps in reducing the levels of cholesterol in the body, helps in weight loss and fight against diabetes. This is an important health tip for aged persons who require high-fiber contained food to save their digestive system functionalities.
5. Pick Green-Orange Vegetables/Fruits:
Coming to fruits and vegetables, orange and dark green colored are well known for rich nutrients, fats, and sugars. Swiss chard, Spinach, carrots, squash, kale, oranges, and carrots are delicious in the winter season. There are so many recipes to include these in regular winter diets.
6. Add Spices
Ginger, garlic, onions, and coriander are well known for improving the immune system, not only they provide health benefits, they add good flavor to dishes and makes the food taste good. As we all know, turmeric is a traditional spice in India and Chinese medicines, which mainly helps to combat numerous conditions including heart disease, inflammation and it acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. And its main ingredient ‘Curcumin’ gives dishes its yellow color.
7. Pre-Schedule Your Exercises for a Week in Advance
Sticking to a pre-scheduled exercise plan for a week in advance is the best way to avoid putting off regular workouts in winter. On Sunday evening, try to write down exercise plan for next week or create your tasks on any tasks list app if you use any application. Decide your exact exercise routines, activities or exercises for each day and how they will be. By doing this and remembering what we scheduled for each day makes it better & easier to stick to the plan.
8. Workout Indoors
If we are not interested in doing the workout outside our home or in gyms, then feel no worry, we can find plenty of exercise videos and workout plans online. We can find varieties of workout ideas including strength training, yoga, aerobics and other body-weight (Weight gain or Weight Loss) exercises.
These workouts and diet plans are great tips, specifically in winter. Not only in winter, can be used throughout the year. By being aware that winter is about to here before we know it, we can stay motivated to have proper attention towards our body-health habits throughout the winter.
Winter Weather Safety Tips
According to the research, most of the injuries which are preventable occur in winter season than other seasons, these are more due to weather conditions during colder months. Most of the people spend more time indoors in winter, this season increases the risk of at-home accidents as well, including fires and falls.
Meanwhile, there are many festivals and gathering occasions throughout the winter, these events provide opportunities for risky activities like drink and driving. Due to this kind of risks to our safety and also the safety of people around us, it is important to be aware and take necessary precautions. Some of the great safety tips for the winter season as follows:
1. Inspect your Vehicles
According to a survey, on average 480000 accidents are occurring each year, in that deaths are around 150785. In these, approximately 30% of accidents were occurred due to the weather conditions and wet roads. So it’s better to ensure our vehicles are safely deemed enough to drive in winter conditions.
In many places, especially mountain regions or other ghat-roads, it is unofficial to drive with no proper winter safety tires. In other places, where rainstorms are common, it is very important to have tires which can resist hydroplaning. We have to be aware of controlling the vehicle when it gets skid on the wet roads and make ourselves and others away from risk.
Another safety tip for overlooked vehicles is to have enough washer-fluid to keep the windshield clean for more visibility.
2. Safe Drive
Here, numerous festivals and other holiday parties happen in winter season, and this provides many options for consuming alcoholic drinks. So it is better to plan a safe ride to home before we leave, should pre-book a cab or other taxi at our place and possible time.
3. Plan Décor activities safely
In festival seasons or other days, when we are using ladders or any tall stools for hangings at heights, should check whether they are in safe condition to use or not to avoid falling/slippery risks. When using LED lights or any kind of decorating bulbs every night, keep them ON for only couple hours, otherwise, they get too hot and makes the items beside/around them get caught to fire.
4. Fully Extinguish All Flames
Some of us have electric fireplaces at our homes, so it is better to turn them off at nights before we go to bed if have any traditional fireplaces, should turn off the fire fully before we go to bed, shouldn’t leave the house with fireplace left on or burning, either. Yes, in India, Nepal, China and some other countries, we lit the candles (or Deepa) at our traditional places or puja rooms, and we try it to not get extinguished till it gets off itself, so before we go to bed or left that place, we should take necessary safety measures to avoid the items around catch fire.
5. Careful with Heating Devices
Most of us love in using the heating devices in cold winter, especially when everywhere gets snow and temperature drops to too low. But, electric blankets, heating pads, and space heaters can get serious fire-accidents at home if not used properly and safely. To avoid this kind of risks, it is better to unplug the devices before we go to bed.
6. Install Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Unfortunately, most of the fire accidents at houses occur in the winter season, so it is better to take precautions in installing and testing the smoke detectors, this is one of the important safety-measure to avoid a lot of risks. In winter, power cuts occur frequently due to wire cuts or any other winter-related issues, due to this, most of us use portable generators, if we use them indoors, there is a chance of carbon-monoxide (CO) poisoning, so ensure we have working carbon-monoxide detectors as well.
7. Use Handrails at Staircase for Stability
In this kind of cold & wet climatic conditions, the steps on the staircase will be very dangerous as they become too slippery, to avoid such kind of falls which causes severe injuries, be sure to use the hand-railing and don’t rush upon the steps. This is an important safety measure for senior people who have balancing issues.
8. Salt the path on Exterior staircases & Driveways
To avoid severe injuries from falls, the better way is applying salt to our driveway pavements and any other staircases which leads to our homes. Reapplying the salt as much as needed to keep us & our families from slips. While most of the malls and other shopping stores take necessary precautions, better to be careful while walking in parking areas as they always might not thoroughly salted.
Following this kind of safety measures in winter season will keep you and your family members safe and happy enjoy the holidays.
Mental and General Health Tips
Out of all, other than personal injuries & skipping the fitness and diet routines, there is one other threat during winter. This period of the season may increase the depression levels, which it may lead to upset overall mental-health. Though most of the people suffer from depression or sadness because of lower sunlight levels, there are estimated 10 million Indians affected due to change in season (9 Million Americans as per the sources), This is known as ‘Seasonal-Affective Disorder’ (SAD), and it is observed more in women than men.
When our mental health is not well, then there are more chances of stress and other illness problems. It is very important to take a complete approach towards our health, not only diets and physical workouts but also for mental wellness too.
Some of the mental-health and general well-ness tips for the winter season to stay healthy are as follows.
1. Frequent Hand Washing
We may feel this as a broken record, frequent hand washing during the winter days is must activity in maintaining our health in winter. This not only helps to protect our immune system & prevents us from developing cold and flu, but also protects others around us.
2. Saunas or Steam Rooms are helpful
If we start feeling depression or higher stress levels during this winter season, steam-rooms and saunas can help. They help us to alleviate stress feelings by tensing the muscles to relax, these high temperatures helps us to sweat better, which is a better way of detoxifying our body our skin.
3. Consume Vitamin Supplements
In winter, Vitamin C will help us to fight cold and flu if we do experience these symptoms, so it is better to consume Vitamin C. Vitamin D is also important, which helps us to supplement when we are experiencing lack of light in winter, though it is important to come out in sunlight whenever it appears, Vitamin D also helps to absorb other vitamins like Vitamin-‘A’, Calcium, and Iron which are essential for our body.
4. Take Herbal Teas
There are many kinds of herbal-teas which help us stay healthy, mainly lemon & chamomile teas help us ease depression, anxiety by calming our nerves and relaxing our body. They help to sleep better. Other herbal teas like Redbush (called Rooibos or bush tea) and Green teas are great as antioxidants.
5. Longer and Better Sleep is healthy
In winter’s short days, our bodies naturally tempt to sleep for long and adjusts to the rhythm of daylight. So it is better to use these long evenings and wind down to start relaxing before bed, going to bed as early as possible will give enough rest and relaxation during the times which it craves to the most.
6. Meditation & Relaxation Practices
If in case we start feeling anxiety, stress and winter blues, it is better to aware of managing it in a healthy-way. A better way to improve our stress levels is going for walking outdoors whenever we get a possible weather condition, even if it’s just once. Deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are great practices for managing anxieties and stress.
7. Get Social
During winter, most of us feel lonely due to missing the entertainment & social activities with our buddies or relatives, but we can find traditional festivals and many entertainment events. This is the best time to socialize with friends and relatives, can plan dinner and movie-nights, organizing family events is the best way to stay close with loved ones.
8. Plan a Winter Vacation
To avoid winter blues and recharge ourselves, vacation is a good plan for a healthy-way. Though going to vacation is not in our budget, we can find better destination spots within our budget by researching through online travel-websites and blogs, then we will feel little better. Go through travel websites and read the reviews on hotel listing websites, and make a list of top holiday-spots and explore them on Google. Choosing the holiday spot in a warmer climate will be a better idea to lift up our spirits and avoid winter weather conditions.
Planning for a Safe, Healthy and Fit Winter
Many of the above tips and safety measures are easy to implement in our daily lives if we try to add them into our daily routine slowly. We can improve ourselves in our own areas during this winter by assessing our own health and wellbeing.
If in case, we feel that we lost our diet and exercise/workout habits, then initiating with some basic winter tips will keep us happy and stay positive during the complete season. To easily adapt to these safety tips, reminding about why we want to stick to healthy-routines helps us, it is easier to add more fun by following these tips & safety measures.
Stay informed on the best health and wellness practices on our news website’s Lifestyle category. We provide helpful information to keep you safe, healthy and well throughout the year, in all the seasons.