25 Oct Keeping Your Mind and Body Healthy and Strong this Winter
Winter is coming. Many will start to notice that they are sick more frequently during the winter months, even though venturing outside happens less often. How is this possible? Even though it’s cold and dark outside, winter doesn’t need to be a season of sickness and sadness. Keep your mind and body healthy and strong with these tips, and learn why sickness happens so often during the colder months!
Getting Sick More Often?
Do you find yourself getting sick all winter long? Studies show that the population as a whole gets sick about the same amount year-round, except for the exact time of the year we are in. There is a higher uptick in certain illnesses like the flu during the winter months. Medical News Today reports that this is because “viruses that cause colds may spread more easily in lower temperatures.”
Some studies also show that colder or dryer conditions can also affect how well your body’s immune system functions. Coincidentally, many people find it harder to get out and exercise during the winter months because of icy conditions or unbearable cold. How you diet, exercise and spend your day can make a significant difference in your risk for being sick more often during the winter months and throughout the year. Yes, you may still get sick even if you have great health habits, but you have a reduced risk for catching those winter illnesses if you follow a few simple tips this year.
Counteract Winter Sluggishness
How hard is it for you to get up and get yourself to the gym each day? If you’re a busy parent with early work, kids heading to school, or living in areas with heavy winter snowfall, it can seem next to impossible to make it work. Plus, nights come on sooner in the winter, which can signal your body to rest earlier than you normally would. That’s why attention to diet and exercise is so important. Here’s what we recommend:
Keep Eating Fruits and Vegetables
The cold winter months are filled with holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are times when comfort foods and delicious treats are in abundance. However, it doesn’t mean you should stop eating healthy! One of the largest factors in your risk for sickness is improper nutrition. You need the 6 essential nutrients every single day (protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and water). You simply can’t find those nutrients in junk food or different breads for every meal. Seek to fill your holiday plates with fruits and veggies that are chocked full of the vitamins you need to stay healthy.
Include Dairy in Your Diet
It’s common to get certain vitamin deficiencies in the winter. One of those is Vitamin D, which will make you feel sluggish all the time. Dairy products contain protein, calcium, vitamins A and B12 and others that can help wake you up and make you healthier this winter.
Enjoy Winter Activities
Get out and get active! Staying indoors all day every day through the winter months can hurt not only your physical health, but your mental health. Getting outside—even if it’s just on your porch to watch the snowfall—can boost feel-good endorphins and make you feel less cooped up each day. Studies show that it’s also more common to catch illness by being in confined spaces with others all day, every day. Choose an activity you love that can brighten your day, plus one that can get your family outdoors daily. That includes grocery shopping, exercising and snowball fights.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Skipping breakfast will slow down your metabolism right away. You’ll be much more sluggish and may find it difficult to fully wake up. Overtime, that dip in metabolism will make your body slower to fight off foreign pathogens that make you sick. Even if it’s just a small breakfast, find a protein-packed meal to get your day started off right.
Get a Flu Shot
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States experiences epidemics of seasonal flu each year. This time of year is called “flu season.” In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. You can protect yourself from the most common forms of flu—especially the deadly ones—by getting a flu shot. This shot provides a “dead” form of the virus that your body can use to build up a defense for when the live virus comes in contact with you.
Wash Your Hands
One of the best ways to prevent illness is to simply wash your hands. Science has proven that you significantly cut your risk of infections and illness by using soap with warm water for 20 seconds to wash your hands. Washing your hands can reduce your risk for colds and other respiratory illnesses by 16-21%. Plus, most infections are spread by spreading germs on the hands to mucus membranes through touching your eyes, nose and mouth, which many people do.
Get a Spinal Adjustment
Misalignments in your spine have been shown to disrupt the proper functioning of your nervous system. Your nervous system regulates your brain, spinal cord and nerve activities. It is also charged with managing the chemical reactions between the endocrine and immune tissues that work to keep foreign bacteria from making you sick. Researchers in New York found that people receiving chiropractic care for more than five years showed 200% greater immune function that those that didn’t. Increase your odds of good health by getting a spinal adjustment in our office!
These 8 health tips are a great starting point for having your best winter yet. Some patients find it beneficial to have a health assessment to know specific habits they can incorporate into their life to stay healthier for years to come. To schedule your health assessment, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!