Sparkly snow aside, winter can be a challenging season to stay healthy. Colder temperatures force us outdoors and away from our favorite activities, the days get shorter and darker, and cold and flu season can sneak up on us without warning. Here are a few easy ways to help you stay healthy this winter!
1. Stay connected with others
While winter can be a time where we see family and friends, it’s easy to feel isolated and lonely during the darker days of winter. Plan a few activities with friends or family to help you stay connected and boost feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin.
2. Find an outdoor winter sport
Sure, it’s cold out – but you can still get that blood pumping outside! There are lots of fun winter activities you can do to keep your heart in good shape, like skiing, hiking, or snowshoeing. Just be sure to layer up, and pay attention to when your body tells you that it’s time to go back inside where it’s warm.
3. Get your shots
Vaccination is a great way to help keep your body protected from illness and disease, so be sure to get your flu and COVID-19 shots to protect yourself from serious illness!
4. Test your vitamin D levels
Even though our quality time with the sun is dropping, our body still needs vitamin D to stay healthy and strong. And if you don’t get enough of it, vitamin D deficiency can lead to lots of unpleasant symptoms. Find out your own vitamin D levels with an easy at-home test!
5. Eat your fruits and vegetables
Deep down, you know mom was right when she made you finish those fruits and vegetables. Not sure what to eat? We’ve got lots of ideas right here on the blog, from foods that can help you get more vitamin D to superfoods that can help you keep your immune system firing on all cylinders.
6. Mind your mind
The darker days of winter can be a challenging time to manage your mental health. Meditation and journaling can be intentional ways of managing your mental health when you feel stuck, and it’s important to talk to a licensed mental health professional if you feel like you’re struggling.
If you’re wondering about your overall mental well-being, you can get answers with an at-home mental vitality test.
7. Stay hydrated
Water is the most critical substance to help keep your body functioning. When you’re well hydrated, your body is better equipped to prevent infection, transport much-needed nutrients around the body, as well as helping your organ function and sleep quality. Start with 8 glasses of water a day, and keep those liquids flowing!
8. Keep your immune system in good shape
Your immune system is your first line of defense against all those cold and flu symptoms. Find out how your immune system works, and learn how to keep yours in tip-top shape.
9. Wash your hands
While COVID-19 has improved U.S. hand-washing habits, one CDC report found that over 25 percent of people still forget to wash their hands when experiencing respiratory symptoms, before eating at a restaurant, and before eating at home. Don’t be that person! Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, and dry your hands off with a clean towel.
10. Don’t ignore cold and flu symptoms
Got the sniffles or a cough? While it could be as harmless as the common cold, it could also be a sign of something more serious, like COVID-19. Don’t take any changes, and get an at-home COVID-19 test to get answers and protect your loved ones.
With just a few practical steps, you can have a happy, healthy winter this year!