The cold weather months can be a serious challenge to your health. Your body is assaulted with fluctuating temperatures and all the empty calories consumed during holiday feasts. Icy slick roads make driving and exercise difficult, which also puts your health and safety at risk.
Plus, lack of sunlight, holiday stress and being trapped indoors with coughs and sneezes during the flu season can all deplete your immune system and add up to a recipe for illness or injury.
But never fear. Here are the ten top health and safety tips to help protect you and your family and keep everyone's immune system and winter health up and running at tip-top speed.
Top 10 Cold Weather Health and Safety Tips
1. Eat a healthy high fiber diet.
Healthy complex carbohydrates are high fiber foods that provide both high-energy and the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. But for great winter health, make sure you always choose your carbs from the lists of healthy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and healthy fruits list.
2. Increase your antioxidants.
Winter nutrition should include a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables high in antioxidant health benefits. Antioxidants (like vitamin C) support the immune system to help you stay healthy during cold weather. Also include a 1000-mg vitamin C supplement with bioflavonoids.
3. Take vitamin D supplements.
Although all essential nutrients are important for winter health, vitamin D is especially difficult to get during the dark cold months. 1000 IUs of D has been shown to provide great health benefits.
4. Stay hydrated with water.
Since you rarely feel hot and thirsty during the cool winter months, it's easy to get dehydrated. Don't take any chances. Drink at least 9 (for women) to 13 (for men) cups of water a day.
5. Eat More Probiotic foods.
Probiotic foods (like acidophilus yogurt) protect your immune system from microorganisms that can cause disease. Probiotics help keep you healthy by fighting off illnesses and infections.
6. Make sure you stay warm.
Exposure to cold temperatures can cause many serious winter health problems. Be sure to dress in multiple layers of warm, dry, tightly woven, loosely fitted, moisture wicking clothing.
7. Find safe ways to exercise.
Use exercise and weight training DVDs, dance around the house or take a half-hour mall walk. When exercising outdoors in cold or even cool winter weather, take the following precautions:
- Drink lots of fluids,
- Dress for cold weather,
- Include protein for muscle,
- Eat healthy carbs for energy,
- Avoid frostbite and hypothermia,
- Don't exercise on slick icy surfaces.
8. Keep your hands clean.
Your hands pick up germs easily from touching lots of different things. Washing your hands often is one of the most important and simplest steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.
9. Practice safe winter driving.
An important winter safety tip is to learn how to drive safely on winter roads. Also always make sure to buckle up, never ever drink and drive and don't ride with anyone who's been drinking.
10. Reduce the stress in your life.
The consequences of stress can be even more serious in cold weather. For healthy stress management don't over-commit yourself, get plenty of rest and maintain a positive outlook.
By following these 10 cold weather health and safety tips, you can beat the dark challenge of a cold winter to keep yourself healthy throughout the season and be ready for a fun-filled summer.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.