With the indulgent holiday season, shorter days and cold weather, feeling amazing throughout the winter months can sometimes feel like a challenge. It seems so easy to give into unhealthy snacks or stay in our pajamas all day long to avoid the colder temps. While there’s certainly a benefit to relaxing and taking a mental break during this time of year, it’s important to remember some key principles for feeling our absolute best, even when the sun isn’t shining and the surf isn’t calling our name. These 5 simple tips will set you up for success all the way through the next few months and headed into Spring!


Don’t stop moving:
There’s always a tendency to move less when it’s cold. Whether it’s the snow outside or just a desire to “hibernate,” maintaining the active lifestyle you had during the summer is never an easy feat. Truth is, it’s perfectly okay to slow down a bit in the winter, just so long as you don’t stop moving entirely. Yoga, bodyweight exercises and stretching are all great tools for keeping your body agile and warm. Instead of feeling defeated that outdoor activities are off the table, try finding new ways to stay active that can keep your workout routine feeling fresh and exciting!


Vitamin D:
You hear this one a lot, but that’s because vitamin D is extremely important when it comes to staying healthy throughout the winter. An estimated 40% – 75% of people are vitamin D deficient, even though it can be found in food and produced by our body from sunlight.[1] Most commonly, vitamin D is known for maintaining strong bones, but it’s also been shown to reduce inflammation and boost our immune system.[2] Loading up on foods that contain vitamin D or taking a supplement is a fantastic way to stay healthy during cold and flu season and keep energy levels up.[3]


Responsible detoxing:
Let’s be honest, we’re all human and it’s nearly impossible to make it through the holidays without indulging in some unhealthy habits. Thankfully, all hope is not lost! By starting some simple habits to help our body detox naturally, we can set ourselves up for success as we head into Spring. Dry brushing to stimulate our lymphatic system or carrying around some Amazing Grass: Detox and Digest to support healthy digestion are both great habits to develop in the winter and to continue all year long![4]


Focus on the good:
Hopefully its common knowledge by now that to feel amazing, we need to focus not just on how our bodies feel, but also how we feel mentally. Maintaining a positive outlook and focusing on everything we’re thankful for, even when the sun is setting early and the weather isn’t all that pretty, can really help us to maintain a sense of happiness and positivity, all winter long.


Sleep:
It might seem that going to bed early or sleeping in late is a sign of being unhealthy or “lazy”, but it can be just the opposite. Healthy sleep patterns have been shown to help us maintain a healthy weight, sharpen attention and even to help us avoid depression.[5] Instead of setting the alarm bright and early this weekend, indulge by sleeping in, your body and mind will thank you later!

 

 

 

[1] Zelman, Kathleen M. MPH, RD, LD. “Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D?” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 2 February 2016.

[2] Richards, Byron J. “Vitamin D is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory”. Wellness Resources. n.p., 23 April 2012. Web. 2 February 2016.

[3] Niedziocha, Laura. “Can a Lack of Vitamin D Cause You to be Fatigued?” Livestrong.com. Livestrong Foundation, 16 August 2013. Web. 2 February 2016.

[4] “Body brushing – the essential guide”. Natural Health Mag. Australian Natural Health Magazine, n.d. Web. 2 February 2016.

[5] “11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep”. Health. Time Inc. Network, n.d. Web. 2 February 2016.