You probably winterize your home and car -- why not your body? Here are some ways to weather the cold.
- Step 1: Don’t hibernate. A lack of sunlight can cause your body to produce too much melatonin, which can lead to depression, fatigue, and low energy. Aim for a 30 to 60 minute daily walk during daylight hours, preferably in the early morning.
- Step 2: Put sunscreen on any exposed body parts. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the sun can’t damage your skin -- especially if it’s reflecting off snow. And wear a lip balm with a 30 SPF: your lips are the first body part to become chapped in cold weather.
- FACT: People get fewer severe headaches in the winter, according to a study.
- TIP: Sunflower oil makes an excellent, not to mention inexpensive, body moisturizer.
- Step 3: Adjust the way you shower to winterize your body. Take short, warm showers rather than long, hot ones, which dry out your skin. Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of stepping out of the shower or bath to lock in moisture.
- Step 4: Stay hydrated to winterize your body, and add moisture to the air in your home by using a humidifier. Research has shown that cold viruses thrive in dry conditions.
- TIP: Rinsing your nose with saltwater daily may help prevent colds by flushing out bacteria and viruses before they take hold.
- Step 5: Eat several servings of fish each week, especially if you’re susceptible to winter doldrums. One research study showed Iceland has significantly lower rates of seasonal affective disorder than other nations, and some researchers believe it may be due to the extra omega-3 fatty acids they get from eating large quantities of fish.
- Step 6: Get a flu shot; vaccination is the best protection against contracting the flu.