When it comes to our health and fitness goals, the winter may be a difficult time to maintain motivation. It might be challenging to stick to our routines during the cold season because of the lower temperatures, fewer days, and the holiday season.
Yet, with a little preparation and dedication, we can keep or even improve our health throughout the winter. Here are some health objectives to concentrate on this wintertime.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
For our general health and welfare, eating a balanced diet is necessary all year round, but it is especially crucial during the winter. It can be alluring to overindulge in comfort food and sweet snacks during the winter holidays and colder weather. Yet by putting an emphasis on nutrient-rich meals like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, we can strengthen our immune systems, keep our energy levels stable, and avoid gaining weight in the winter.
During the Winter months, lots of veggies, such as carrots, cabbage and root vegetables are in season. This means they're (usually) more affordable, nutrient-rich and widely available, making them a great option to add to your diet!
Get Enough Sleep
Apart from healthy meals, our physical and mental health also depends on sleep, and getting adequate sleep during the winter is particularly essential. The shorter days and cooler temperatures can throw off our circadian clock, making it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep.
To help your body's internal clock stay in check, set a consistent sleep schedule and a goal of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your ability to sleep better can also be helped by creating a tranquil sleeping environment. Ensure that your bedroom is cold, quiet, and dark, and refrain from using electronics an hour or two before bed.
Prioritise Outdoor Exercise
While it could be appealing to stay indoors during the winter months, exercising outside has several advantages for both our physical and emotional health. New Zealand becomes a particularly beautiful part of the wrold during Winter, and grossly under-appreciated by many Kiwis. Exposure to nature, natural light, and fresh air have all been found to lower stress, improve mood, and strengthen our immune systems.
Wintertime outdoor sports like cycling, hiking, and skiing can be a fun way to stay active - just make sure you wear warm clothing and pack a bidon of water to stay hydrated. If you dress properly and take safety precautions, hiking can be a fantastic way to keep active during the winter, and explore our unique landscape.
While staying hydrated is important for our health year-round, it can be simple to forget to do so in the winter when we don't feel as thirsty. But maintaining hydration is vital for our immune system, digestion, and general health, and can even make our skin glow.
Warm lemon water or herbal tea can also help us stay warm and strengthen our immune systems. Try taking a reusable water bottle with you or setting phone reminders to drink water frequently to make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day. Moreover, hydrate-boosting foods like soups, broths, and fruits with high water content, such as watermelon and citrus fruits, can be incorporated into your diet.
Due to the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in New Zealand, the winter season can be difficult for our mental health. We can manage the difficulties of winter and keep our mental health by engaging in self-care.
Stress-relieving and mood-enhancing activities include journaling, yoga, meditation, and time with friends and family. Try taking a soothing bath, treating yourself to a massage, or indulging in your favourite pastime as additional self-care activities this winter. Spending time outside or engaging in mindfulness exercises like deep breathing can also help lower stress and improve your mood. Do not forget to give yourself time for enjoyable self-care activities!
Set Realistic Goals
Lastly, it's critical to create reasonable goals for ourselves during the winter. When it comes to our health and fitness goals, it might be simple to feel overwhelmed or demotivated by the season's obstacles. But, we can keep our motivation high and succeed if we set attainable goals and divide them into doable chunks.
Instead of aiming to lose 10 pounds, for instance, make it a point to exercise for 30 minutes every day or eat a plate of veggies with each meal. Keep in mind that over time, little adjustments might escalate to larger changes.
In conclusion, even if the winter season can pose some challenges to our efforts to maintain and even improve our physical and mental health, it is still feasible. By using the above advice, we may maintain our physical and emotional well-being while also taking advantage of all that the winter season has to offer.