It seems, during the holiday season staying active and eating healthy becomes a bigger task than it does in the summer months. Not only is it a lot colder outside and exercising becomes a lot more difficult, but there are not as many fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Cold and flu season are at their peak during the holidays and staying healthy becomes somewhat of a task. Many people make it a point to take their vitamins, but what else can you do to stay on top of your health when it’s cold out?
Get your five a day. The FDA encourages adults to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They also encourage adults and children to eat a variety of colored fruits and vegetables. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are not very available we must find a different way to get them. The next best option to fresh produce is frozen. Hardly any of the nutrients are lost in the freezing process, they do not have any added salt or sugar, and they are relatively inexpensive. Try the fruit medley or mixed vegetables with your meals. They give a great variety and they are easy to make. Add the mixed vegetables to a pasta dish or in a soup. The mixed fruit is great on top of desserts or on by itself.
Get plenty of Vitamin C. Flu and cold season run rampant in the winter months and you need a strong immune system to them off. Make sure that you get plenty in your diet, if you cannot consume adequate amounts, try supplementing. Vitamin C is found many food items such as: peppers, oranges, orange juice, lemons, limes, and cantaloupe.
Continue to exercise. Although, exercising in the winter can be difficult because of the weather, maintaining your regular work out can help keep you healthy. If your geographical location does not permit outdoor exercise in the winter months, try taking your work out inside. Many gyms across the world offer great amenities such as a swimming pool, indoor track, racquetball, and saunas. Winter can also be a great time to increase your speed. Consistent speed work outs on the treadmills and stationary bikes can keep your heart pumping and your immune system running on high. Make sure to disinfect all the equipment before and after use to avoid the spread of germs.
Wash your hands. Washing your hands is something that we all know and should do frequently, but we always need that little reminder. Washing your hands not only after using the restroom and before eating, but after contact with others can help keep germs from spreading and you healthy. I like to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer by the door and at my desk, it’s a great little reminder to keep my hands clean.
Drink plenty of fluids. It can be difficult in the winter to want to gulp down gallons of ice water, when it is below freezing outside. It is also difficult to stay hydrated properly in the winter because its cold and we don’t notice how thirsty we are until its already too late. Getting plenty of fluids in the winter months is crucial for staying healthy. Warm cider and hot chocolate can be a nice way to stay hydrated and warm at the same time.
Eating a balanced diet and exercise are the basic building blocks of a healthy you. It may be more difficult to maintain the basics when we are busy just trying to stay warm. No one wants to be sick in bed while their family and friends enjoy the holiday season. Maintaining your health during the holidays is easy, it just takes consistency. Stay and healthy and happy!