We don’t know about you, but we’ve been feeling the cold of winter creeping in. As the temperature drops and the days become shorter, maintaining our health and staying active will be key to thriving this season. Yes, we know the allure of staying indoors, cozying up, and indulging in comfort food can be incredibly tempting. However, it's essential to find that balance that keeps you physically and mentally well. In this blog, we’ll share some quick tips to help you with that. Pop up a line to let us know if you try these out, and what works for you! We’d love to hear from you.
- Establish a Winter Routine
Just like any other time of the year, it’s important to create a structure for yourself that prioritizes good habits to maintain your health and well-being. Our circadian rhythm will go through a period of transition with less daylight out, which can impact your mood and behaviour in unsuspecting ways. Get in front of this by making sure you continue to schedule regular exercise (even when it might seem easier to go home after work, or sleep in a little bit longer)! Other good habits to continue, include setting aside time for relaxation, eating well, and making sure you're getting enough sleep. Maintaining consistency can help combat the seasonal blues and boost your immune system.
- Enjoy Winter Wellness Foods
On the topic of eating well, the winter months in Ontario are a very special time of year where root vegetables are abundant. Immediately, we think of carrots, parsnips, beets, rutabaga, squash, and sweet potatoes. These ingredients are not only a great source of complex carbohydrates, they’re also excellent sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals that can boost your immune system. Consider incorporating these into a variety of comforting dishes like soups and stews. We also recommend consuming citrus fruits for that extra bit of vitamin C to ward off winter illnesses, or cozying up with a mug of herbal tea.
- Stay Hydrated
During cold months we might forget to stay hydrated as the thirst bug doesn’t hit us the same way as on a hot summer day. Cold beer, anyone? However, it's still essential to stay hydrated during the winter. Dry indoor air and outdoor activities can still contribute to dehydration, so be sure to drink enough water throughout the day.
- Wear Layers
Dressing appropriately for winter is essential for staying healthy and active. Layering is the key to keeping warm. Did you know that wool is one of the warmest (perhaps the warmest!) material that can keep you warm? Try to incorporate layers of wool in your layering strategy. If you’re participating in winter sports, try moisture-wicking materials that can keep sweat away from your body and prevent chills. If you don’t have a good pair of winter boots and thermal socks, now is the time to go get some before the snow arrives!
- Seek Adventure by Embracing Winter Sports and Activities
If you’re an adventure seeker or lover of sports, Canadian winters offer many outdoor activities that can give you that thrill of activity. For example, try downhill skiing or snowboarding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or tubing. While these sports can be individual activities, they’re even better as group activities. Try one or several out as a social activity with friends this winter!
- Prioritize Mental Health
The winter months can be emotionally challenging for many due to the “Winter Blues,” also known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. So if you’re feeling down, don’t fret! Stay connected with loved ones, keep at it with your winter routine, staying active, and eating well. Also know when you need to take a break and decompress with some “you” time where you can spend that time doing something that fills your cup.
Now is a great time to start establishing your winter routine, getting those extra layers to keep you warm, or planning winter sport socials.
P.S. If you find this blog helpful, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.