The winter months can be beautiful. With fresh snow on the ground, holiday spirit in the air, and a delightful shift in season happening right outside your window, it is hard not to get excited. That being said, if taken for granted, the winter months can be a huge burden on your health and wellness.
The cold, damp weather makes it less convenient to go outside and be active; those delicious holiday goodies are more tempting than any other time of the year; and suddenly, there are plenty of excuses and events that can prevent you from adhering to a healthy schedule, and from taking proper care of your body. However, illness and poor health do not take a break during the holidays.
At ARcare, we want you and your family to enjoy the holiday season together in good health. As one of Arkansas’ top family medical care providers, we strive to help make it easy to stay healthy year-round. By staying a little extra vigilant, you can be as healthy as ever all winter long! Here are our favorite eight ways to stay active, fit, and in peak condition during the holidays!
Drink more water
Drinking water is essential to your health, no matter what season it is. Without water, your body will be unable to properly regulate your temperature, stave off infections, or even deliver vital nutrients to your cells. Your body needs water to do all of these things, especially when exposed to extreme temperatures. Our advice? Cut down on sugary or alcoholic holiday beverages in favor of cool, nutritious liquid refreshment. You will feel better, and your body will thank you for it.
The winter months are prime for poor eating choices. Unsurprisingly, if you consistently choose sugary holiday treats over nutritious, substantive food, your health is going to suffer. While it can be detrimental to outright deny yourself any sweets or foods you might enjoy, remember that moderation is key. Make an effort to eat a balanced diet this holiday season. Be sure to eat wholesome, healthy foods that can fuel your body more efficiently than unhealthy snacks. Things like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats will go a long way towards boosting your health. You might also consider eating foods that help boost your water intake, like cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, cantaloupe, watermelon, and broccoli. Contact the health experts at ARcare to talk about your specific dietary needs, and how you can meet them to have a healthy holiday season.
Keep the Kids active
As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, kids tend to have less time to play and move around. You know how important it is for kids to play and let out their energy, and not just because it helps your sanity. Do not allow your kids’ health to plummet along with the temperature; find new ways to keep your kids healthy and active. We recommend fun activities like yoga, dance battles, jump roping, or even parkour courses! Remember, your kids rely on you to keep them healthy, which requires you to be healthy, too. Try out these fun activities with your kids, and keep everyone in the family moving throughout the winter!
Find substitutes for gluttonous desserts
We will keep this one short and sweet—try to limit your intake decadent desserts. By no means is it wrong to indulge now and then, but again, remember to keep these sweet treats moderated. Chances are, you are already missing out on exercise due to the cold weather. Taking in empty calories from gluttonous treats on top of that will only result in unwanted, unhealthy pounds. Try switching out unhealthy desserts like cake or cookies for healthier ones, like dark chocolate-covered strawberries, healthy frozen yogurt, or crustless pie!
Watch out for germs!
The winter is a notorious time for illness; it is not called “cold and flu season” for nothing. Make sure to keep your germs in check by washing your hands as often as possible, staying aware of germy surfaces like doorknobs and keyboards, and getting your flu shots this season. Give our office a call to discuss ways that you can better avoid illness this season.
Keep your stress in check
Stress is a huge contributor to your health and wellbeing. As fun as the holiday season can be, it can just as easily be the cause of additional stress. You cannot always blame your health issues on your in-laws, but in this case, you totally can. Try to keep your stress under control by balancing your work, familial obligations, social events, and relaxation time. Do not try to take everything on at once, and make sure to give yourself mental breaks. Of course, the most important thing to keep track of is how much sleep you are getting. Without the proper amount of rest, your stress level is going to skyrocket. You may a lot to do this holiday season, but do not miss out on sleep to try to cram it all in—your body needs it!
Monitor your body temperature
This might sound obvious, but you have to do your best to stay warm during the winter. Lengthy exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health issues. Do your best to be aware of your body temperature at all times. Wear lots of layers (you can always shed a layer or two if you get too hot), and stay dry. Note that temperature regulation should be especially considered for older adults and for young children, whose immune systems are very susceptible to damage.
Keep up with your workouts
Lastly, no matter how cold it gets, you cannot let the frigid weather get the best of you! No matter the temperature, your body needs movement, stimulation, and exercise, so it is important to make sure you are not falling behind on your workouts. If the chill is too much to bear, try working out indoors, motivate yourself with a new fitness membership, or try out a new type of workout to get yourself going. No matter what you do, know that it is important to keep moving if you want to be healthy during the holidays!
At ARcare, we want to do everything we can to keep you and your family healthy; that includes providing you with all the information you need to keep yourself in tip-top shape. Want to learn more about how you can stay healthy this winter? Visit ARcare’s contact page, or give us a call at 866-550-4719 to schedule your first appointment!