Many people take a little bit of time each fall to winterize their homes or vehicles. Winter weather brings a unique set of challenges, and you want to make sure you’re prepared to handle whatever comes your way. But while you have plans to change furnace filters and check anti-freeze levels, do you have plans to winterize your body?
The fall and winter months present some hurdles to staying healthy. If you plan ahead, however, you can increase your chances of staying healthy throughout the season.
People generally welcome the end of daylight saving time, but any time change can certainly affect your sleep schedule. You may find yourself staying up later, and struggling to wake up in the mornings.
Make sure that you stick to a regular sleep schedule, and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Some don’t want to brave the elements in the winter. While curling up in front of a fire with a cup of cocoa and a good book may sound better, you still need to stay physically active in the winter. Wear layers and go for a walk.
There are also ways to stay active indoors. Do calisthenics at home, or sign up for a gym membership during the cold months.
Indoor air quality
People tend to spend more time indoors during the winter than during the warm months. Be sure to change the air filters in your home to improve indoor air quality. Make sure that your home has a working carbon monoxide detector. Also, vacuum, dust, and wash sheets and pillow cases regularly to help eliminate dust and dander.
Some people find that good eating habits tend to go south for the winter. They may gravitate towards convenient, processed foods or rich, fattening foods, and shy away from vegetables.
Comfort foods don’t have to be unhealthy, though. There are plenty of healthy, hearty winter meals such as turkey chili or vegetable stew.
A fresh garden salad might not sound as appetizing in the cold winter months as it does during the summer, but you still need to eat your vegetables. Get to know some cold-season veggies and get some ideas for using frozen fruits and vegetables.
Some suffer from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder during the winter. If you know you experience seasonal depression, have a plan and talk to your doctor about options.
Commit to hygge for mental health. Visit with friend and family, and set aside some time to do things that make you happy. Mental health is equally as important as physical health.
Fall and winter are cold and flu season. Do what you can to keep yourself and your family healthy. Get a flu vaccination, practice good hygiene, and wash your hands often.
Visit your doctor
If you haven’t seen your doctor in a while, now is a great time to do so. Schedule an appointment with a MANA physician today!
Take these steps now and you’ll be ready to stay happy and healthy all winter!