How is everyone doing today? Good? Great! Today I have a lovely guest post for you brought to you by the wonderful Tara Heath.
Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California, where she enjoys the winter months they bring cooler weather and a respite from the normally high temperatures. To keep herself healthy, she tries to practice these tips as often as possible.
If you remember, she has actually guest posted before on M.Y.A, so clearly I value what she has to say! Take it away Tara!
Staying Healthy This Winter (Even Amidst Bad Weather and Holiday Goodies)
When it starts getting cold outside, many people rush out and get a flu shot. After all, late fall and winter really is the cold and flu season, and it is when people get sick the most, so wouldn’t it make the most sense to compound all this by getting your shots?.
While getting a flu shot is a good idea, there are many other things you can do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Combining the cold weather with a higher intake of sweet treats and fatty foods from the plethora of holiday parties is often a recipe for extra stress and illness–however, it doesn’t have to be. Although complete avoidance of all the cold weather and the holiday treats might be impossible, following these tips will go a long way towards a better winter.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The average American gets about six hours of sleep per night–considerably less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night for adults. Although some nights it is hard to get in a full eight hours, you should do what you can to catch up on sleep, especially if you went without through the warm summer months.
There’s nothing unnatural about sleeping a little bit more in the winter, and it can be beneficial for reducing your sleep debt. However, it should be noted that most adults don’t need more than nine hours of sleep, and sleeping too much can actually be harmful. To keep yourself healthy and rested, shoot for eight hours per night every night.
Stress at work and in your personal life is likely unavoidable, at least to a certain degree. But too much stress actually makes you more susceptible to catching a cold or flu this winter.
To reduce stress, try spending time doing something that you enjoy–perhaps something you’ve put on the backburner because of work and family responsibilities. Even basic things like making time to read or listen to music at the end of the day can help you reduce stress.
Making some time each week for a yoga class or getting a weekly massage is also a great way to decrease your stress level.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Drinking plenty of water is important in the summer in the heat, but when the weather starts to get cool, water intake often gets neglected. The truth is that you probably need to be drinking just as much water or more in the winter as in the summer in order to keep your body hydrated.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
While the old eight glasses per day rule doesn’t have much relevance any more, the Mayo Clinic recommends about 13 cups or 3-liters for men and about 9 cups or 2.2-liters for women per day.
Drinking water can keep your body hydrated on the inside, and water is definitely good for your skin, but when the weather cools down you’ll need to do something about keeping your skin healthy. The simplest solution is to moisturize your skin regularly.
A basic body lotion or moisturizer can work well, and almost any drugstore brand of decent quality will do the trick. For your face, you’ll want to choose something designed specifically for your skin type.
If you have very dry skin, go for something rich and soothing–perhaps a night cream that you can use at least a few times a week to keep your skin looking its best.
While winter is the most likely time that you’ll come down with a cold or flu, it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to do so. Use the tips above to protect yourself from the weather and the indulgences of the season.
Thank you Tara!
How do you avoid gettings sick during the Winter?