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Great Ways to Get & Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter 2021 is your season! Winter is always a great time to shake off the unhealthy habits from that summer barbecue and the previous year and get healthy. Whether you are just starting your health journey or are looking to continue it all winter long, there are several things you can do to help you accomplish your health goals.

A healthy winter is what we all need to look and feel our best, not just in the warmer months, but all year long. Here are some great ways to get and stay healthy this winter.

Stretch it out 

Stretching is a great way to start your day and jumpstart your health kick. There are so many benefits that a simple stretching routine can provide. Stretching helps improve your blood flow and increases both your range of motion and flexibility. These are great results on their own, but they are absolutely necessary if you plan to follow stretching with physical activity.

Simple stretching exercises can also help do things we all need like improve posture. And, if you are someone who suffers from back or joint pain, stretching can help relieve these maladies as well.

Stretching can be a mental exercise as much as a physical one too. It gives you a mental break and, when done regularly, can help calm your mind and add clarity and focus to your day. It also gives you time to focus on yourself and your body which can relieve stress which is one more thing we all can use.

The best part about stretching is you don’t need much to do it. In fact, you can start with just your body and a few ideas for the types of stretching you want to do. As you get more advanced, you can add a yoga mat, yoga blocks, or a back stretcher to get more creative or more targeted with your stretches.

Walk it off 

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest causes of health problems in the 21st century. They say that sitting is the new smoking. And it’s much easier to do nothing during the winter. 

Just going for a walk around your yard, your neighborhood, or going on a hike can do wonders for your health. Walking just 30 minutes a day will create a laundry list of positive health effects for your body.

It will help your heart and lung health and decrease your risk for diseases in those areas. It will increase muscle strength and reduce body fat. It can also go a long way to combat all types of all too common health problems such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, joint or muscular pain, diabetes, and more.

To help you walk your way to good health, consider adding a pedometer to help count your steps. This simple device will show you how much you walk now so you can set a benchmark and try to beat it.

You’ll often hear that 10,000 steps a day should be the goal. That sounds like an intimidating number, but don’t worry, studies now show you don’t have to hit that number to experience the health benefits of walking. Just increasing your steps to between 4,000 to 8,000 can do wonders for your body.

Eat seasonally 

Everyone wants to look and feel good during the winter so a lot of people turn to dieting (especially after the New Year’s Eve!). That’s no fun in the season that should be the most fun and it also may not be necessary. Instead of eating less or eating something that tastes like cardboard, eating seasonally can help you fuel your body better, lose weight, and be healthier overall.

In 2021, we have access to frozen berries or canned veggies all year long so we often don’t think about eating seasonally anymore.

Some of the most flavorful and healthy fruits and vegetables are in season during the winter months. This includes vegetables such as beets, carrots, bell peppers, corn, and cucumbers. On the fruit side, you’re looking at melons, peaches, strawberries, plums, cherries, lemons, and limes.

Also, don’t forget tomatoes that, while technically a fruit, pair incredibly well with other fruits or vegetables and can create a perfect base for a healthy winter meal.

One more advantage of seasonal eating is that it is cheaper and, therefore, healthier for your wallet as well. Fruits and veggies that are in season will always cost less and can make a fresh, delicious meal more affordable than any other time of the year.

Get that vitamin D

One of the biggest challenges with winters, especially in the Midwest, is that we don’t have enough access to vitamin D. As such, this season make it your resolution to ensure you get enough of it. 

Your body makes vitamin D naturally as a reaction to sun exposure. The more sun you get (safely while wearing sunscreen) the healthier you will be. It is good for your bones, your teeth, your lungs, and your brain. It can help manage insulin levels in diabetics and boost your immune and nervous system health.

Almost half of all Americans and over 1 billion people around the world don’t get enough vitamin D. In the winter, you can make a concerted effort to boost your vitamin D, usually with the help of vitamins and supplements, so you aren’t a member of this statistical group. It will help your health all year long.

Conclusion 

We all lead busy, hectic lives, and getting and staying healthy can be a challenge. However, the winter months offer several advantages that allow you to start or maintain your health journey more easily than in other seasons. This winter, get out there and start pursuing the healthiest you that you can be.

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