Autumn: the season of leaves turning, nights darkening and days becoming colder. Oh that temptation to wrap up warm and stay in bed is almost too much. It might feel pointless starting those new year resolutions now but there is hope! You only need to make a few small lifestyle changes to stay active and healthy and get you through winter.
Our Top 5 tips to stay healthy this season:
Let’s start with one of the best and obvious ways to stay healthy; food. Try to find foods high in vitamin C like oranges, carrots, peppers, and berries. Yes even a strawberry crumble fits the bill! Oatmeal is a favourite for this time of year to start your day with a hearty breakfast. Go for a multi-purpose copper pot for making stews and more.
Nutrition experts Authority Nutrition recommend Dark Chocolate as “one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet..to improve health and lower the risk of heart disease” and a little bit of dark chocolate is good to keep sugar levels up, which is an important aid to keeping warm. Check out more benefits of chocolate here.
7 in 10 of us don’t get enough sleep yet it’s essential as a way of maintaining a good immune system on top of a healthy diet. Sleep has a number of benefits the main one being it reduces stress which in turn improves the immune system.
The Sleep Council recommend 7-8 hours for an adult and suggest that without sleep “the risks for heart disease and type 2 diabetes are high, and there’s a growing body of evidence showing that poor sleep patterns are directly linked to overweight and obesity”
So the more sleep the better – when you are well rested, it’s easier to stay motivated. And with the right bed comes great sleep! Check out our earlier post on the best ways to get some good shut eye.
Not only does this give a mental lift, but it also helps to stay congenial, being surrounded by people and having a good time. There’s a tendency to isolate yourself in winter so try to make that extra effort.
Having trouble socialising with your new lifestyle? Maria from More of This shares some great recommendations. Our favourite, for if you’re trying to cut down on alcohol or improve your diet, “focus on the relationship, not the activity. Think about why you want to spend time with someone and remember that that reason exists without food and alcohol”
It’s been proven that exercise can result in feeling happier and being more energised as well as getting a daily dose of vitamin D from the sunshine!
As Katie from Wellness Mama says: “When a person is in the sun without sunscreen, the body naturally makes Vitamin D, which is protective against many other types of cancers”. Try to build it into your routine, and if it’s too cold outside think about visiting a gym or working out in the living room with some simple aerobic and strength exercises. Include your kids in the fun!
Take this time to reflect on the year that’s been and re-energise yourself for the year ahead. Get excited! Embrace and appreciate the season. And once you’ve been active, it’s ok to curl up on the sofa, after all winter is coming!