Simple Steps to Stay Healthy Throughout the Fall and Winter
As we enjoy the glorious colors of Fall, this is a great time to do some planning to protect ourselves for the upcoming winter. With some basic routines in place, you will be ahead of the game in protecting yourself from potential bugs.
Also, if you experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (“S.A.D.” aka, “Winter Blues”), this is a reminder that RIGHT NOW is a great time to start using a light box to help with that. Read HERE for more information.
1. First and foremost, in order to get and stay healthy, it is important to eat well.
Reduce, (or, better yet, remove) refined sugars and processed foods. Eat foods that come from nature, rather than a package. Try to stick to the outer aisles of your food market. This is where most of the real and freshest foods are. These foods often don’t need labels as they are real and only have one ingredient (think fruits and veggies, dairy, eggs, and meats).
As a general rule when choosing foods with labels, remember the “5 and 5” Rule:
5 ingredients or less (that you recognize as actual food!) and 5 grams of sugar or less per serving (note, this is not grams of carbs, just sugar).
2. Make sure to sleep well.
As the days get shorter, we tend to stay up later with artificial light. If we follow the rhythms of the season, winter is a great time to catch up on sleep. Eight hours is a good amount of sleep for most people. Give yourself the gift of quality sleep. Keep electronics out of the bedroom! Those emails and fascinating videos will still be there in the morning!
3. Remove Stress.
This is hard for so many right now. How often can you take a moment – literally, one moment, to pause, take a slow, deep breath, before moving on to the next thing? We convince ourselves that we don’t have time to pause during our busy days. The truth is that taking time to rest and be still is not a luxury. It does not mean that we are lazy. It is a necessity for our bodies to repair and stay healthy. Resting during the day also gives our brains a chance to process one thought before moving on to the next. Taking a quiet few moments to switch your focus to your breath or to meditate will make a huge difference in the quality of your day. This means pausing from screens, too. Turn the phone off or to silent. Put it in a different room. See how long you can go without checking it. More and more we are recognizing that checking the phone is actually very stress-inducing. The antidote? Put it down. Trust that you can catch up on anything in a few minutes (hours?) from now.
4. You’ve got to get up and move.
For those who love to ski, skate, and snowboard, winter can’t come fast enough. For those not so excited about these sports, it can feel hard to get up and out when it is cold, maybe icy, slushy, and dark. There are things you can do indoors to keep your body moving. I love using a rebounder (mini-trampoline) to bounce for a few minutes every day. There are a plethora of online yoga or dance classes. Pop in your favorite exercise DVD. Or just turn on your favorite music and dance around the house! If the weather is compliant, take a walk to enjoy the changing of the seasons.
5. Drinking quality water is essential.
During the warmer months, we tend to drink more water because we are outside more and more active. We still need that water in the winter – not just in our bodies but in our environments when the air gets dryer. Invest in a decent humidifier to keep the air more comfortable in your home. Also, remember that good times to drink water is: when you first wake up, in between meals, and at bedtime. Try not to drink too much with meals as that can dilute your body’s digestive juices which will impede the proper digestion of all that nourishing food you will be eating!
The point is, these simple choices will increase the quality of your day and, over time, your whole life.
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