Winter is a fantastic time to enjoy the weather outside. Dry and frosty climate instigates a plethora of health issues like cough, cold, pneumonia and acute bronchitis. What’s more… as the temperature drops, the possibility of our appetites spinning out of control increases. You may not have noticed but certain behavioral changes are triggered during this season.
In addition to lazy mornings and blanket hideouts, winter also brings with it an array of bad habits that have to be avoided in order to stay healthy.
Swear off these bad habits and promote winter health
- Not drinking enough water – Since people tend to sweat less during winter, they feel less thirsty thus resulting in reduced consumption of water. Experts believe that regardless of seasonal changes, the human body requires atleast 2 litres of water a day in order to stay hydrated. That being said, it is equally important to reduce the intake of caffeinated beverages during winter as it tends to extract water from the body. You may enjoy sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee when its cold outside but less water & more caffeine could prove to be a recipe for disaster during winter.
- Avoiding exercise – Getting out of bed during winter often seems to be a challenging task, not to mention the mere thought of exercising, going for a morning walk/jog or hitting the gym when it’s freezing outside could give you the creeps. It is important to note that any form of workout releases happy hormones that helps you stay active for most part of the day. Your winters will not be gloomy if you include some or the other form of physical activity in your daily schedule.
- Satisfying untimely hunger pangs – Untimely hunger pangs suddenly seem to spike up during winter and unfortunately most people fail to resist the temptation for fat/fried/junk food. It is essential to be more watchful about your weight during this season as most people turn to comfort food in an attempt to beat the winter chill. Having more of starchy sweets could give you momentary pleasure but this indulgence spikes the blood sugar levels, leaving your body struggling with the stress to handle the excess glucose. One way to stay healthy during winters is to eat more fresh/seasonal produce, fruits and vegetables
- Staying indoors – Frosty weather often compels people to spend most of their time indoors. People rarely feel the urge to leave their home and go outside for a stroll when the best thing they could do to warm up the body is soak up some winter sun
- Sleeping in excess – Sleep is actually the best way to recharge the batteries of your body but as experts say, excess of anything is bad for health. The cold weather naturally makes you lethargic which is why people end up spending more time in bed. It is important to note that sleeping too much during winter disrupts the normal sleep-wake cycle which is why it is detrimental to your overall well being
- Having long hot showers – Long hot showers are soothing and could give the desired effect of warming up the body during winter but it is important to know that hot water dries and damages the skin leaving it dry, scaly and itchy at times. Switch to lukewarm water instead and do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer after every shower, while your skin is still semi-wet. This will help in keeping the moisture intact.
- Over consumption of alcoholic beverages – Most people believe that enjoying a drink or two is the perfect way to beat the winter chill but as per recent findings, excess consumption of alcoholic beverages lowers the core body temperature hence is bad for the overall health. This isn’t the only bad thing about drinking alcohol when it’s cold outside. Another study indicates that drinking alcohol in cold weather also reduces the body’s ability and tendency to shiver, taking away yet another method your body uses to help keep warm when it is cold.
- Omitting sunscreen – 80% of women’s wrinkles is caused by excessive sun exposure. As compared to any other season, UVA rays during wintertime are almost equally intense during daylight hours. Apply a generous portion of sunscreen and cover up the exposed areas of your skin before stepping out in the sun.
- Practicing Self-medication too often – The habit of popping cough & cold medicines like dietary supplements isn’t good for the overall health. Although these drugs may give you temporary relief from your symptoms, they harm the immune system to a large extent.