When the first winter breeze blows through the trees, you can almost feel the magic in the air. Winter can be a wonderful time of year, with crisp, sunny mornings and picturesque, frosty rooftops, not to mention the excitement of Christmas approaching. But Winter, is also the right time to place a little extra focus on your health and wellbeing.
Even if you are in excellent health, lower temperatures, wetter weather, additional coughs and colds and less opportunity to get outside for fresh air and exercise can have an impact.
To help you enjoy all the festive season has to offer, we suggest below a few effective ways to keep yourself happy and well, this Winter.
- Maximise the natural daylight in your home
With shorter days, light is precious, and our bodies need natural sunlight as it increases the release of a ‘happy’ hormone called serotonin.
Serotonin is associated with boosting your mood, increasing your sense of feeling calm and even helping you stay focused.
Flood your home with natural sunlight for an instant mood lift. Use mirrors to bounce the light further around your home and enjoy all the many benefits light can bring you throughout the darker months.
- Exercise outdoors
Exercise outdoors can be exhilarating. Being outdoors in the fresh air sharpens your focus, wakes your body up and promotes healthier food choices throughout the day.
Resist the temptation to hunker down and sofa surf. Wrap up warm and get out for a brisk walk or a bike ride. Maybe even try your local park gym. They are free to the whole community to use.
- Upgrade your home tech
As we age, Winter can present different challenges, but we are so lucky with modern technology that there is almost always a support solution available.
Think about what you might need as the colder months close in. Look around the home for areas you can upgrade or future proof. If the stairs are becoming a struggle, consider a home lift. If appliances are causing you to strain your back or sending you off balance, think about replacing them with waist height appliances.
By the time we are aged 60 we require three times more light than when we were aged 20. Think about the direction of light too, spotlights aren’t good the older you get, but you still need to focus on plenty of overall light coverage. Smart light technology automatically senses someone in the room, and the rest of the time it switches off to save you energy.
- Take supplements
You should be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy balanced diet, but at this time of year, less sunlight means less Vitamin D and those depleted energy levels can also be a result of lower B-complex vitamins in your system too.
It’s a good time to check in with your GP and investigate extra supplements which could top you up where needed.
- Eat For Warmth
Plan ahead to eat for warmth.
In general, foods that take longer to digest raise your body temperature and make you feel warmer. Your body produces heat caused by food metabolizing. Look for food that’s high in healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates as it will actually keep you warmer.
Stock your cupboards with healthy soups and consider what type of meals and snacks are simple to prepare and eat if you feel unwell.
Choose foods that are rich in vitamins, especially green vegetables and citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits which contain high levels of flavonoids and vitamin C. These decrease inflammation and boost the body’s natural ability to protect and heal itself.