Winter is a time when the weather is cooler, our energy is lower, and we are more susceptible to colds, flus and fatigue. Self-care is essential in every season, but even more so in winter as our bodies need extra nourishment to keep us energized, vibrant and healthy.
1. Nourishing Nutrients
Support your body by giving it the nutrients it needs to stay well. Warm, hearty meals such as soups, stews and vegetables are ideal. These meals are gentler on digestion, contain protein and vegetables which give the body vitamin C, zinc, iron, magnesium and antioxidants to support the immune system and provide energy to fight off any winter illnesses.
2. Maintain Movement
Although it’s colder, the days are shorter and we may feel less motivated, exercise is a wonderful way to release endorphins that improve mood and optimize brain function. Daily movement is vital, even in winter, because if you fall out of the habit of exercising it’s more difficult to get back into it. Consider indoor activities like squash, dance, yoga or pilates. Think of it as an opportunity to try something new!
3. Stay Hydrated
We can easily become dehydrated in winter due to being less thirsty and an increase in hot water use. This also dries out our skin and can make us feel foggy and fatigued. Keep a water bottle nearby and track how many bottles you drink per day to make sure that you meet your hydration needs. For example, if you have a 1L water bottle you’d need to drink at least 2 of those per day. The amount of water you need differs from person to person, but 2-3L per day is ideal.
4. Rest and Rejuvenate
You may find that your energy and mood is naturally lower in the winter season. Honor that time by engaging in relaxation – read a book, take a bath, catch up with a friend, meditate or take a restorative yoga class. Allow your body the rest that it needs to maintain your health through the winter and come into spring feeling rested and restored.
5. Curb Cravings
Cravings can be stronger in winter as we are seeking warmth and energy. Ward off these cravings by having a supply of sweet teas and healthy snacks like fruit free bliss balls, chia puddings with raw cacao or mixed nuts and berries nearby. Adding fermented foods to meals is also a great way to curb cravings and as an added bonus they improve gut health which also supports your immune system (80% of the immune system is in the gut!)
I hope that this guide has given you some ideas on how to keep your body and mind healthy, happy and strong this winter!
Author | Sarah Spann Adv Dip (Nut Med), mATMS
Sarah is a clinical nutritionist specializing in gut health and is based in Brisbane, Australia. She is dedicated to changing the paradigm of gut health and works with clients all over the world to help them get back the freedom, energy and confidence that their gut issues have taken away. Sarah is passionate about helping people to feel like the healthiest and most vibrant versions of themselves.