How To Maintain A Healthy And Balanced Lifestyle During The Winter Months
Winter is a time of hibernation, wrapping up with a cup of hot chocolate and smashing your way through every series on Netflix. Well, not really.
Winter doesn’t have to shut us down like hermits, we have to get our summer bodies ready, and we need to keep our positivity up during the greyest of days too.
With that, we have some great pointers and tips to keep you both active and entertained as the weather changes.
5 Tips for Creating a Winter Wellness Routine that Works for You
1. Take a walk. We might have bitterly cold mornings in sunny South Africa, but for the most part our winters are fairly mild. If you have access to a local hiking trail, why not get out there and do a hike? The grasses will be low, so if there is wildlife, it’ll be easier to spot. Don’t forget your scarf though!
2. Start a group. Get onto WhatsApp and involve a couple of friends or family who share similar goals to yours, and plan weekly activities. You could do some home gymming, a group walk around the neighbourhood, or even spot each other at the gym. Friends are great motivators, and you could motivate them too.
3. Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Getting enough rest is crucial for overall wellness, especially during the winter months when the body is potentially fighting off illnesses. Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time to ensure that you're getting plenty of quality rest each night.
4. Eat a balanced diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for physical and mental health. You’ll even find your mood improved when you eat healthily and get all your nutrients in.
5. Practice stress-reducing activities: Winter can be a stressful time of year, so it's important to have stress-reducing activities in your routine. Try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help calm your mind and reduce stress.
Maintaining Mental Health During the Long Winter Months
One of the tougher parts of winter is the impact it has on our moods and mental states. It’s imperative we keep aware of our moods and any changes and attend to any issues immediately.
The key here is to get stuck into staying and keeping positive from the onset of winter, before we even feel the winter downs. It is important to take care of yourself to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or other mental health issues.
Here are some tips to help you maintain good mental health during the winter months:
1. Get enough sunlight: Try to get outside during the day when the sun is shining, this also supercharges your Vitamin D production.
2. Stay active: Exercise can help improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Even if you can't exercise outside, try to find indoor activities that you enjoy, such as yoga, dance classes, or strength training.
3. Connect with others: Social isolation can contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression during the winter months. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and family, even if it's through video chats or phone calls.
4. Practice self-care: Self-care activities like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practising mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve mood. Set aside time for self-care activities that you enjoy.
5. Seek professional help if necessary: If you're struggling with your mental health, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to get the support you need.
Boost Your Immune System (The Natural Way) and Stay Nourished And Satisfied
The winter months can sometimes make our jeans feel a little tighter, but it doesn’t need to be that way at all. So long as we stick to a healthy diet, and keep up our physical activities, you’ll have a summer fit body ready to go, and an immune system ready for almost anything. Follow the following.
Tips to maintain your health and eating good, tasty meals:
* Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables: Incorporate a range of colourful fruits and vegetables into your meals to ensure you're getting a variety of nutrients. Winter produce options include brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, and squash, and these are so easily turned into delicious soups. And there’s nothing easier than making a tasty, nutritious soup.
* Incorporate healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and oily fish, can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. They can also provide important nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
* Limit your intake of sugary and processed foods: Sugary and processed foods can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to low energy levels and weight gain. Instead, opt for whole foods and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
* Consider taking vitamin D supplements: Even though we live in a sunny country in winter, sometimes it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from sunlight. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement or incorporating foods like fatty fish or egg yolks into your diet.
* Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and even herbal tea to keep your body hydrated during the winter months. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and dry skin, especially up in the highveld.
* Stave away the dry lips with some lip-ice, and get a good quality body moisturiser to keep your skin feeling fresh and smooth.
Physical Activity Ideas for Staying Fit During the Colder Months
Staying active during the colder months can be a challenge, but there are many fun and effective ways to keep fit. Here are some ideas for physical activities that you can do indoors or outdoors during the colder months:
1. Indoor exercises: You can do a wide range of indoor exercises, such as yoga, pilates, bodyweight workouts, and strength training. You can find many workout videos and routines online or use a fitness app to guide you through a workout.
2. Dancing: Dancing is a great way to stay active and have fun. You can join a dance class or learn new dance moves at home by following online tutorials.
3. Swimming: Many gyms have indoor swimming pools that you can use during the colder months. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for cardiovascular health and strengthening your muscles.
4. Home workouts: There are many at-home workouts that you can do without any equipment. Some examples include jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and push-ups.
5. Pop into your nearest Body20: Our Coaches are ready to get your heartbeat up and help you get your fitness into top form. With over 50 studios countrywide, you will find us in all major cities and hubs!
You’re Going To Miss Winter, But Then It’s Summertime Again
Winter doesn’t have to be a reminder of lockdown. Make sure you’re looking after yourself, body and mind.
We at Body20 understand that health is holistic, and if you follow along with our tips and guidance, you’ll be feeling like your best version of yourself.
So stay connected to your friends, family, and Coaches, and let’s get pumped up for winter!
Body20 is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to physical, and mental well-being. The mind and body are an ecosystem, and we understand the value of taking care of it all.
Body20 members get access to Nutrition Doctors and Wellness Coaches to assist in improving the quality of their lives. To find out more, book your free demo at your nearest Body20 Studio.