How to maintain a healthy lifestyle this winter

Stay active

It is important to maintain a regular exercise regime throughout the year, so don’t let the nasty weather hold you back. There are plenty of great ways to stay in shape, many of which don’t require you to don three layers of clothing and embark on a five kilometre run in blizzard-like conditions.

Instead, why not hit up a gym near you? It’s a great way to stay both warm and in-shape this winter, and many gyms offer a variety of deals ranging from day passes to year-long memberships.

Alternatively, embrace some winter sports such as ice skating, as both outdoor and indoor rinks make for a great day of fun and exercise to be enjoyed either alone or with family and friends.

Sometimes, however, there’s nothing quite like a brisk run or a bicycle ride on a crisp winter day. Just make sure you take the necessary precautions:

  • Avoid exercising on slippery or icy surfaces.
  • When exercising in the dark, consider wearing a high visibility vest, especially if running on or alongside roads.
  • Drink plenty of fluid prior to exercise. It may be cold, but your body still needs its fuel.
  • Dress properly – leave the shorts at home and instead choose long leggings, gloves and a hat.

Food and drink – have a think

Whilst we can all be guilty of overindulging during the Christmas period, we shouldn’t let the excessive food and drink consumption carry on into the New Year.

Watching what you eat is key to maintaining a healthy weight, but there are other equally important factors to consider. A regular supply of vitamins, for instance, can do wonders for your health, so introduce plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet. Equally as important is a hearty breakfast to kick off your day, so fetch those porridge oats down from the top cupboard.

Knowing what to avoid is half the battle, such as excessive amounts of alcohol and sugary drinks – alcohol can damage your health in many different ways, but along with products high in sugar content it can also cause problems for your teeth. To be on the safe side, why not consider a dental plan for peace of mind?

Sleep longer

The longer winter nights are ideal for slipping off early to a warm, cosy bed to catch up on sleep. Most of us manage less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night, so use the winter period to rectify that. A healthy sleeping pattern forms an important part of your overall wellbeing, and the colder weather actually results in people sleeping longer, so embrace it.

Keep the germs at bay

Sick bugs are an all too familiar aspect of winter and tend to spread like wildfire through schools and workplaces. Some simple yet effective precautions can be taken, however, in order to minimise the risk of becoming ill:

  • Wash your hands – it may sound like something your mum would say, but it really does work. By getting into the habit of washing your hands after using the toilet or handling food, you can help fight off the bacteria.
  • Use hand sanitizer wipes or gel – easy to carry around and great for a quick wash after coming into touch with door handles in public toilets or hand railings on public transport.

Do you have any hot tips for staying healthy this winter?