Winter weather can pose some risks to your health, even apart from the obvious things like possible frostbite and falls on the ice.
The cold air can dry and damage your skin and, even though it’s cold outside, the winter sun can burn. It’s important to moisturize your skin regularly and to use sunscreen whenever you plan to be outside for longer than 15-30 minutes. Don’t forget the lip balm. Winter is a great time to use up that body lotion you’ve been stockpiling. If you have a humidifier, use it!
It can be very challenging to eat healthy meals during the winter. Generally, you’re spending more time inside — close to the food. The selection of fresh fruits and vegetables isn’t quite as good and the prices are higher. Plus, you really want to eat comfort foods that warm you inside and out. Of course, those foods are rarely the healthiest of choices. You might want to try frozen fruits and vegetables. They are frozen at the peak of flavor and they are as nutritionally sound as fresh. Put those frozen veggies into a nice warming soup. You can add them to store-bought low sodium broth if you don’t have homemade. Add some aromatics (think onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) plus some barley and you have a healthy and nutritious meal.
Finally, for most people, winter plays havoc with your workout regimen. My go-to exercise is running. I hate treadmills, so I prefer to run outside. Of course, during the winter, outdoor runs are a challenge. All too often, sidewalks and running paths are covered with snow and ice. Late sunrises and early sunsets make it hard to get a run in before or after work. There are a few options for working out. First, you can join a gym and use its facilities. The new year’s resolution crowds will diminish in a few weeks, making it easier to get a machine, a weight bench, or a spot in a class. You can also workout at home if you have some basic equipment like weights and a mat. A workout DVD can be a big help with home workouts. Finally, you will need to use good days wisely. If you have decent weather on a weekend, you can wear appropriately layered workout clothes and get out there.
How do you take care of yourself in the winter?