As the colder months wear on, it can be easy to lose sight of our health goals and begin to care for ourselves less than we might during the rest of the year. When it’s so easy to just curl up on the sofa and stay warm, it can be difficult to think about much else – but it’s important to keep looking after ourselves. Below, you can find five suggestions for keeping healthy during the winter months.
- Play an indoor sport
Though it’s incredibly common for us to let ourselves go a bit during the cold winter months, it doesn’t have to be that way – but you also don’t have to force yourself to keep doing your usual healthy activities if they aren’t winter appropriate. After all, who wants to keep going on that daily run when it’s so icy and cold outside? Instead, why don’t you find a physical activity that’s indoors – for example a gym membership or an indoor sport such as dodgeball or badminton. These are a great way to keep your fitness up during the winter months without putting yourself through anything unpleasant!
- Set aside self care evenings
When we are spending almost every evening inside they can all begin to merge into one, and it can be good for your mental wellbeing to ensure that you still set specific times aside for personal care and time to yourself. So why not ensure that once a week you set aside time to have a relaxing bath, enjoy a yoga class, or read to ensure that you are getting that me-time that keeps us mentally well when you can.
- Ensure you get enough vitamin D
Especially in northern countries, getting the right amount of vitamin D during the winter months is a genuine challenge which doctors have to combat. If you are experiencing severe low mood during these dark months then you should definitely talk to your healthcare provider. However if you simply want to stave off the effects of a vitamin D deficiency, you can look into taking over the counter supplements (after checking with your healthcare provider if necessary), invest in a sun lamp, or ensure that you have enough time each day to get in a 30 minute walk – which is all the daylight it takes to give you your daily vitamin D!
- Keep up with your social life
Especially in the winter months, it can be easy to begin feeling lonely or isolated. For this reason it is important to look after yourself by ensuring you keep your social life as rich as you can – perhaps by organising a weekly meet up with close friends, or joining a local club which gets you out of the house. We are social animals, and maintaining our social lives is part of staying healthy!
- Try out some new recipes
It can be difficult to stay healthy in the winter months, because understandably all we want to heat is warming comfort food which isn’t always the healthiest choice to make. And all the traditional healthy food – like salads, fruits and smoothies – are just so much nicer to enjoy in the warm summer months. So during the winter months a great way to stay healthy may be to spend some time learning about healthy winter meals, such as hearty vegetable based stews or broths. That way, you can satisfy that winter craving for hot, filling food without resorting to unhealthy alternatives.
It’s important to keep healthy during the winter months, even though it can be difficult. Hopefully some of the suggestions on this list will help you to keep your personal health ticking over until the sun rears its head once again.