Monday, 1 October 2018

Three Steps for Staying Healthy This Winter

As the nights draw in and the days gets colder it’s tempting to stay indoors, eat lots of hearty food and avoid anything that feels too healthy. Many of us put on a bit of weight over winter (especially during the holiday season) and become less physically active. But this doesn’t have to be the case, as there are loads of things you can do to feel fit and healthy during the colder months. Here are three great ways to feel your best this winter.

1. Get a free health check to motivate you for some winter exercise 

Many people don’t know that GP’s offer free health checks to patients. They’re usually offered to people over the age of 40 or 45, or if you’re new to the surgery. The checks tend to be done by the practice nurse and involve measuring things like blood pressure, blood glucose and seeing whether you’ve got normal cholesterol levels. What’s handy about these sessions is that you can ask important questions like what should normal cholesterol levels be or ‘is my blood glucose level within normal range.’ By getting professional advice on the key health metrics you’ll feel more motivated to tackle your health and fitness goals regardless of the cold and dark.

2.  Make time to move in your lunch break

So, now you know your health status and you want to do a bit more exercise. During the short winter days, we often don’t fancy doing much early morning or late at night when it might be dark out. This is the time to try utilising your lunch break for exercise instead. If you have showers available at work, you’ll be able to do more intensive cardio, like going for a run or joining a local aerobics class. But don’t let it put you off if those facilities aren’t available! Simply wrapping up and going out for a short, brisk walk or even going up and down the stairs ten times all make a difference.

3. Monitor your alcohol intake One important contributor to health status is alcohol intake. 

Keeping your drinking to the recommended weekly limits (no more than 14 units a week) and spreading those units over at least three days (i.e. avoid drinking 14 units in one session) can make a real difference. This might be difficult during winter as there are often lots of alcohol-centred social activities, especially over Christmas. Try taking tasty soft-drinks to these events so you know there’ll always be an appealing non-alcoholic option. Or set aside at least three or four alcohol-free days each week to give your body time to recover. Reducing alcohol intake can contribute to long-term health as well as help maintain a healthy weight, which in turn increases your chances of having normal cholesterol levels.

Never fear! Winter doesn’t have to be an unhealthy time. There are lots of things you can do to keep feeling your best over the cold months. Follow these three simple tips to feel great right through until spring.

Disclosure: Guest post contribution by Claudia Gimeno who works with Pro-active. Please not I was not compensated for this post.


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