Winter is not the best season for your health what with the cold robbing your skin of all moisture and a weak immune system posing an invitation for all sorts of ailments. Winter is the season when you should be taking proper care of your health to look and feel your best.
Darker days and cold weather combine to form the best period for hibernating, and our body feels lethargic and unready for hectic activities. If you feel the urge to pull up the blanket and go back to sleep, despite the ringing alarm, do give in once in a while.
Health experts are of the opinion that sleep can do the body a whole lot of good and is essential for the well-being of the immune system.
You need to up your health and beauty regimen and follow it regularly without fail to remain fit and fab this winter.
Here are a few helpful tips for you to get the best for your body and mind when it is the season of holidays, feasts and snowmen.
1. Eat Healthy
Once the weather makes a transition from Fall to Winter, our food preferences also undergo a change. We crave starchy and sugary foods, and the festive season only adds to the problem.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year are definitely the happiest and most loved occasions and we go all out to celebrate them with fabulous parties and delicious food. Not only do you experience post-holiday stress and weight gain, you also end up feeling under the weather and depressed.
Do not binge on sweets and holiday goodies, and go slow on that whipped-cream layered pumpkin pie. You will feel bloated and the artificial sugars will make you feel lethargic.
Do not slump into a couch after a heavy meal. It will only lead to heartburn, reflux and discomfort. Head to the door and take a short walk, or do some light exercise. This will help keep your food down and will also aid in digestion.
Do you know that refined flours, white sugar, caffeine and cola can suppress our immune system making us more susceptible to winter health problems?
It is not necessary that you ditch all sugars and go joyless this festive season. Natural sugars found in fruits are highly beneficial and can help you curb the urge to binge on cookies, candies and rich desserts. If you love chocolate stock up on dark chocolate and keep small pieces in the freezer, which can please your taste buds when the sweet cravings strike.
Eat healthy to stay fit and active in winter.
2. Manage Stress
The season of celebrations indeed takes a heavy toll on your body, especially if you host family get-togethers and parties. Post-holiday stress is experienced by many women who spend a lot of energy and time planning elaborate meals and celebrations.
Juggling between decorating the home for Christmas, planning gifts for loved ones, keeping kids entertained and managing a career lead to severe pre/post/mid-holiday stress.
Healthy eating and exercise can help you effectively combat stress. Research has proven that light workout increases blood circulation and increases the rate of heart beat, which in turn is very much like getting an energizing shot of adrenaline.
Working out may seem like a distant dream when you have guests staying at home and a bunch of kids to manage, but you can weave it in your daily routine. Park the car a block away from the office and walk the rest of the way or take a few laps around the mall when out shopping. There are many exercises that you can do while at work at home or in office. Opt for a stand desk at the office and spot jog while stirring the stew on the stove.
Meditation and yoga are also helpful in keeping your mind and body in ship shape. Yoga calms your mind and relaxes your body processes. In addition to soothing your mind and giving you a better control over your thoughts, meditation also regularizes heartbeat, lowers blood pressure and even counters PMS symptoms and improves fertility.
Also, make as much of the sun as you can. Lack of exposure to sun light can lead to mood swings and fluctuations in our energy levels. A walk outside when the sun is out will help you stay healthy, both mentally as well as physically.
3. Stay Hydrated
Dry winter air robs our skin of essential moisture and makes it prone to allergies and other problems.
It is essential that you use a good quality moisturizer as often in the day as required. Slather on a generous amount after your shower to lock in the moisture. Also, ensure that you use oil-based creams that are more efficient than lotions. Serums also work well when intense moisturizing is required.
If you want the best brands remember to stock up on them a few months before winter woes settle in. Look out for freebies and online giveaways and ready your moisturizing arsenal well beforehand. Also, keep a few travel-sized pouches in hand so that you can fly without letting cabin air affect you adversely.
The skin on hands is thinner than on other parts of the body and hence calls for special care and attention. Always keep hands moisturized and ensure that you slip on a pair of gloves when going out. Wet gloves and socks can dehydrate skin, so avoid them.
Many gulps down gallons of water in the hope that it will help their skin glow, but skin care experts thumb this down as nothing more than a myth. 12 glasses of water a day may help if you have super-parched skin, but will not make any noticeable difference on normal skin. Do remember that water is essential to flush out toxins in the body and to maintain skin elasticity and cellular health, so to battle winter stay hydrated.
4. Condition Your Hair
Winter is not very kind to your tresses. So ensure that you give your tresses the TLC essential to keep them smooth and shiny.
Cold and harsh weather, rain, snow and indoor heating can all result in heavily damaged hair. The best solution is to use a super-creamy conditioner that will allow wet hair to retain moisture. Ensure that the product you use has humectants and essential fatty acids, and is rich in hair nourishing proteins.
A hot oil massage is recommended at least twice a week followed by a thorough wash. You can use a mild herbal shampoo that will not strip your hair of essential moisture. Follow this with a regular conditioner and then seal in the moisture with light conditioning leave-in spray.
If you have thick and heavy hair, like African-American or Asian, you will need more powerful treatments like a heavy conditioning hair pack that will give you deep moisturizing results. You need to apply the pack twice a week and you should leave it on for at least an hour before you wash off.
A healthy diet and proper care will help protect your hair from damaging effects of dry winter.
Beauty and health need not take a beating when it gets snowy outside. The most important thing is that you should not neglect yourself and should stick to a disciplined lifestyle where your health gets top priority. A healthy body and mind will also help you enjoy the festive season to the hilt, and feel and look good as well. So in the end, you see it’s a win-win situation for you!