Winter Wellness Tips for Optimal Health
On the still-dark, cold days when you feel like winter is endless try these 5 easy tips:
1. Drink warm water: Tea might seem obvious, but try hot or warm water too. Drinking warm water makes it easier to create movement within your lymphatic system, which can help clear congestion and stagnancy. Lymph is an all-important fluid throughout your system critical to detoxification. Warm water can also improve hydration. This is especially helpful as we tend to feel less thirsty in the winter. Add in the dry air and reduced sensation of sweating and it is easy to become dehydrated.
2. Consume warming spices: Add spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, cloves and cayenne into your foods and beverages. Made from the seeds, berries, bark or roots of plants, spices contain a myriad of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which protect your cells and reduce the risk of disease. Try a new coconut curry dish, a golden milk latte or spiced baked apples. Choose your favorites and experiment with new flavors while supporting your health.
3. Relieve stress: Chronic stress weakens immunity. In trying and uncertain times, practices to combat the effects of chronic stress are beyond health-supportive, they are life-supportive. A few minutes each day of deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, meditation or yoga can make a significant difference. Add in activities you find relaxing. Pick up a book, instead of your phone. Play with your pet or cuddle with a family member. Take a walk or do some stretching. These activate feel-good chemicals in the brain that increase wellbeing.
4. Get outside: It’s easy to hibernate this time of year and just wait for spring to arrive. But a lack of fresh air and sunshine can adversely affect mood, sleep, energy and immunity. Our brain and body need sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythm, the body-clock that regulates our sleep/wake cycle. Getting outside for a minimum of 20 minutes in the morning is the best way to reset this pattern. If that’s not happening, try sitting or working in front of a window when the sun is streaming in on a bright day.
5. Ditch the cold: At mealtime, that is. Add in more cooked and warm foods such as porridge instead of cold cereal, roasted veggies over wilted greens instead of a salad, and soups, stews and broth. There’s even such a thing as warm smoothies! For a quick meal or snack, add ½ cup coconut milk, ½ banana, ½ apple, ½ cup pureed pumpkin, 1 tsp vanilla extract, a dash of pumpkin pie spice, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more or less liquid to desired consistency. These will help combat the cold, support digestion and improve energy levels.
If you’d like more support to feel your best in every season, reach out to schedule your FREE Clarity Call. Learn more about how health coaching can help you reach YOUR wellness goals.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, or replace treatment or intervention by a qualified medical or mental health professional.