Winter Health Solutions.
In many parts of the country, January and February are not the best months for tending to one's physical, mental, and emotional wellness. The shortened days, blustery weather, and cold temperatures have many people spending more time curled up on their couch under a blanket, less time outdoors exercising, and time on the scale bemoaning the additional weight gained during the holidays. Fortunately, Kathleen Doheny recently wrote a superb article on beating the winter health doldrums at WebMD, entitled "8 Winter Steps for Healthy Living." A brief synopsis of Doheny's tips are listed below; for more information on each tip, as well as more information on winter health in general, please visit the original article.
1. Go Sweet on Your Diet
Ready to do just one thing this winter to spruce up your diet? Incorporate sweet potatoes, which are very much in season. A medium-sized sweet potato has about 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber, along with vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
2. Take Inventory -- Reduce Stress Long-Term
To improve your stress level, focus on being a "total person." That phrase is an acronym for:
Time Out To Assess Lifestyle -- focusing on Physical health, Emotional health, Recreational status, Spiritual and social health, and Organizational and Nutritional health.
3. Venture Out to Work Out
Break up your indoor workout with outdoor activity. Depending on your location, try snowshoeing, trail walking, or, if you're in warmer climes, hill walking on a golf course or in a park with rain gear.
4. On Guard! For Your Teeth
Winter sports may nudge you out of hibernation, but they carry a real risk of tooth trauma if you take a spill when skiing, skating, or boarding.
5. Winterize Those Eyes
There's no winter vacation from eye protection. Wear ski goggles when skiing and sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes from UV rays.
6. Assess Your Heart Health
Winter's the season of love -- what with all the holidays and Valentine's Day -- so get serious with yourself and assess your heart health.
7. Alcohol: Think of Your Heart
Winter's a time for heartier meals, such as stews, and red wine is a perfect accompaniment (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons). Red wine is a concentrated source of antioxidants shown to help heart health.
8. Sleep: Stay Cool
Resist the urge to crank up the thermostat to tropical levels during a chilly winter's eve.