Tips for Winter Health
Let's face it, whether you live in a sub-zero climate or a dreary rainy one, winter sucks. And it’s tough to resist the impulse to pump the television remote instead of weights; and succumb to the allure of comfort food, rather than healthy food, during the winter season. To get off on the right foot, WebMD polled health experts in a variety of fields including diet, fitness, and stress, and asked them: “If you could suggest one simple change this season to boost personal health, what would it be?” Their fresh (and cost-conscious) ideas may have you re-thinking winter as a season of stagnation. Here are their top tips:
1. Go Sweet on Your Diet - Eat sweet potatoes. Not only are they in season, which means they’re at their cheapest, but a medium-sized sweet potato has only about 100 calories, but 4 grams of fiber, along with vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. And it's loaded with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Sweet potatoes are super simple to fix, too. You can bake them, roast them, or turn them into soup. Or keep it simple: wash the potato well, poke it with a fork, wrap it in wax paper, and microwave it for about six minutes.
2. Venture Out to Work Out – Save on expensive gym bills and get outside to work out. If you’re not into winter sports like skiing, skating, or snow boarding, go for long walks outdoors. If you walk to work the other seasons, don’t stop just because of the cold. All Just allow for a bit more travel time, and bundle up. Continuing to walk to work will also help you cut down your transportation costs, which can be particularly high in the winter. Besides the exercise, the outdoors offers you light exposure, giving you not just a workout but also a much needed mood boost.
3. Sleep: Stay Cool – Resist the urge to crank up the thermostat to tropical levels during a chilly winter's eve. To ensure good sleep, keep your bedroom temperature at 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures are more conductive to good-quality sleep (and a lower heating bill!)