Heart Easy Tips For Staying Healthy In The Cold, Cold, Winter

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by Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

brainWinter comes upon us and many of us still have our flip flops by the door. Where did the time go? The best way to stay healthy in body, mind and soul is to know what the seasonal changes bring and how to turn them into a plus for your health.

The Hazards:

We’re INDOORS more when the temperature drops. This means we are less active, more sedentary, prone to watch TV or be on the computer. We get less sunlight, there are less fresh fruits and vegetables available in some areas, we can experience “cabin fever”, become irritable, breath recycled air, dry out from the continuous heating and sometimes feel depressed.

We watch football and basketball, we tend to snack more and we like to indulge in COMFORT FOODS which are salty, sugary, or high in saturated fats. We are around people in confined areas where bacteria and viruses can spread.

Holidays, travel and guests can be STRESSFUL for us even though they are fun. We are tempted by a season of party foods, late nights and the added efforts of shopping for and wrapping gifts. All this can wear a body out ! (Not to mention the mind and the soul.) So what can we do?

The Best Solutions:

Here are eight things you can do to avoid the winter taking its toll.

1) SOUP it up! Pass up the beef and pork stews, the creamy or cheesy chowders and elect lighter, healthier soups with plenty of vegetables, beans, garlic, leeks and spinach. Make your own with fat-free, low sodium broth and use ground turkey or chicken breast instead of red meats.

2) DRINK and be merry with water! You need to offset the effects of heat and dryness indoors and hydrate your body and your skin. Drink water room temperature or heat it up. Make herbal teas. Add lemon, lime, cucumber or tangerine slices. Mix one-forth fruit juice with sparkling water for a festive hydrating drink. Hydrate your skin with a chemical-free lotion to keep it supple.

3) GO LIGHT and pass on the starchy comfort foods. Although a cheesy macaroni dish feels comforting it’s actually harming your heart. Choose whole grain pasta and a cheese substitute to make your own low fat creation. Cut out the sugary treats and reduce your intake of sodium-laden foods.

4) MAMA SAID wash your hands. Do it frequently because she was right about preventing germ spread. Also cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when you are in public places, crowded elevators and places where there are lots of people. Get a flu shot!

5) WALK & TALK! Exercise routines often get neglected in sedentary winter. Call a friend; go to a mall and walk, walk, walk. Catch up and get your exercise at the same time.

6) S.O.S: Stress on stress is rampant during the winter season. Celebrations, parties, overnight guests, shopping, demands, travel – it’s enough to exhaust even the most valiant. You will need to supplement your food intake with Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and possibly calcium and magnesium. For your nerves try Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and be sure to get plenty of sleep.

7) LIGHT IS MIGHT. During the winter we can suffer from lack of exposure to sunlight. This can cause hormonal imbalance and depression. Get outside as often as you can. Try for 20 minutes a day and look for full spectrum lighting instruments to avoid SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

8) LAUGH. We underestimate the values of a good laugh fest. Put humor in your life by visiting a comedy club, watching comedy movie classics, inviting the class or office clown to dinner or by buying a funny book. Keep your insides jiggling with chuckles and you’ll survive the winter cold in top form.

– Dr. Kac Young – www.HeartEasy.com