Tempted to hibernate at the first signs of winter? Does your mood take a nosedive each June? And how about keeping those seasonal colds at bay?

Here are some expert tips to help you stay active, healthy, and motivated during the cold season.

Chase the sunlight

Does winter make you feel a little low, tired and irritable? ‘Winter blues’ is real, and according to a 2014 study, it may have something to do with a drop in vitamin D.

Some foods, like oily fish, eggs and dairy, are good sources of vitamin D, but most of it comes from the sun. So, one way to overcome the blues is to bundle up and get outside. Sure, if it’s raining sideways and blowing a gale, you’ll be excused for not wanting to venture out. It will all make those crispy, sunny days even more enjoyable.

Not sure where to go? Try Tramper.nz’s track finder for some inspiration.

Load up on immunity boosters

Sunlight isn’t just a mood-booster. Research has found that vitamin D can also help your immune system work better.

When it comes to protecting your health in winter, according to LifePharmacy.co.nz, there’s a wide array of immunity boosting supplements you can turn to. These range probiotics through to vitamin C, D, E and B. Zinc, turmeric and garlic are also thought to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

A balanced diet can go a long way in keeping your immune system as strong as can be.

Get going

With motivation levels possibly at their lowest, winter can be a difficult time to work out. But it’s important to remember that regular exercise can be another great way to strengthen your immune system.

Looking to get your motivation back? You may need to establish a routine that suits you. For example, if you’re an early bird, you might try and shift your exercise to the morning. The key thing is to keep yourself motivated over time.

According to Eatwellnz.com, there are some steps you can take:

  • Think about how you can make (and keep) exercise a priority
  • Exercise at home if you don’t feel like leaving the house
  • Train for an event (or just to compete with yourself)
  • Enlist a ‘workout buddy’.

Plus, you don’t have to exercise for hours on end to reap the benefits. Most health experts agree that exercising for as little as 20 or 30 minutes per day can improve your health and mental wellbeing substantially.

Get social

In the past few months, the world has rediscovered the importance of ‘social connectedness’ for our overall wellbeing. During winter, when people often feel less social, staying engaged with your community, friends and family becomes even more crucial.

Good friends are good for your health. For example, plenty of research has linked social isolation and cardiovascular risk. One of these studies found that those with the fewest social contacts were at a 50 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease. And there’s also a connection between social ties and reduced stress levels.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.