Stay Healthy During Winter

There is no doubt a number of winter activities readily available when visiting or living in Steamboat Springs.  Trying to stay healthy during winter months is what drawls people to the Yampa Valley. Although we strive to stay active we sometimes find it hard to make time to take care of ourselves. For those of us that don’t get a chance to skin up to Thunderhead each morning, here are some more realistic habits to help us stay healthy during the winter months.

So let’s take a look at 5 useful ways to help you stay healthy during winter:

Stay Active!

A body at rest tends to fall apart quickly.  If you let yourself “hibernate”, for lack of a better word, you will tend to see your immune system fall.  In order to combat this, you should try to focus on staying active each and every week; by active, we mean both staying active on a daily basis, as well as targeted strength, flexibility and cardio-focused workouts in order to stay healthy during winter. And if you think that too much snow is a convenient excuse, think again! There are many indoor workout routines that would rival many summertime routines. A simple Google search will reveal a plethora of workouts in which you are bound to find one that fits you. In addition, feel free to go out on some hiking adventures with friends, take walks where you are able and try to fill up your week with things that require you to move.

All the Vitamin D

Sunlight is often our main source of Vitamin D due to the way that our skin produces it when exposed to ultraviolet B rays. So what can you do when you’re missing out on this extremely effective health-booster? One simple (but potentially expensive) proposition is to schedule a sunny vacation in a warm location around January, which will help you receive a good portion of sunlight. However, some more cost-effective and convenient ways to boost your Vitamin D could include taking supplemental vitamins such as D3. However, it is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to speak with your doctor first and potentially check your current levels through blood work.

Cleanliness is King

Washing one’s hands at least 5 times per day has shown to reduce respiratory illnesses by as much as 45% according to a study conducted by the Naval Health Research Center.  Keep bottles of hand sanitizer handy as much as you can, leave a bottle in your vehicle and use it when coming in contact with anything in the public arena. Germs can also spread rapidly in your home, so it may be a great idea to remove your shoes immediately when entering your home and going straight to the sink to wash your hands.  When using public restrooms, open door handles and operate toilets with a paper towel as well; in short, the fewer germs you are exposed to, the greater you reduce your chances of sickness!

Eat Healthy Foods

Nutrition plays a very important role in our overall health, and it becomes just as important, if not more so, during the winter. Make sure to focus on avoiding foods high in sugar, as well as staying away from refined foods. Make sure to eat sensibly balanced meals that consist of fruits, vegetables, certain types of meat and anything that will provide you with plenty of healthy energy, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This article by EatingWell magazine touches on some of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet during winter, so give it a quick look:

Watch Out for S.A.D.

S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a type of condition associated with the change in the seasons. It causes feelings of depression that can affect men, women and children alike. Symptoms can generally start sometime during autumn, and usually lasts through parts of the winter.  It can cause symptoms such as moodiness, anxiety, sadness and an overall feeling that you are not quite yourself. It can cause you to have difficulty concentrating at work or in school, and can make you feel tired even if you are getting adequate amounts of sleep. The best cure for S.A.D. is usually a form of light-based therapy, so even though it is winter, make sure to get an hour or so of sunlight each day.

These are just several ways to effectively help you stay healthy during winter – there are quite a few more options as well, but if you start with these, you should have a healthier and happier time this season.