The Student's Guide to Winter Wellness
As the Christmas cheer starts to kick in, you’ll find yourself preoccupied with finalising plans, getting things done at work, buying and wrapping gifts, and ticking things off your checklist – maybe so much so that you’ll forget to prioritise your health.
The winter season can increase the likelihood of weather-related injury, but the bigger risk that you really need be careful of is getting sick. With these five tips, you can stay healthy, safe, and comfortable even when your body is telling you to hibernate this winter.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
It can very tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food when it’s cold and dark outside, but it’s important to make sure that you still maintain a healthy diet and include a good range of foods in your diet – aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables each day!
Eating large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables will support your immune system during winter when it needs all the help it can get. So don’t succumb to cravings for sweet treats (try to say no to cakes and cookies as much as you can) and opt for healthy alternatives instead – like a juicy clementine or a satsuma. If you need some hot food to warm you up, winter vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips can be roasted, mashed, or made into soup for comforting winter meals.
Drink Plenty of Water
You know the importance of staying hydrated during the summer, but did you know it’s actually more important to drink the optimal amount of water during winter?
For many people, the water intake declines when the temperature drops, because there are less visible cues to remind to you drink water and you’re less likely to get thirsty in the cooler weather than you would on a hot summer day. However, upping your water intake over the winter months can have a number of health benefits, such as...
● Fighting winter dehydration
● Improving your skin
● Giving you more energy
● Reducing winter weight-gain
● Boosting your immune system
To stay fighting fit during the winter, make sure you keep drinking water regularly!
Winter is no excuse to slack! It’s important to exercise regularly, especially in the winter: it will not only keep you fit and healthy, but it will also generate heat to keep you warm and toasty.
If it’s not too cold, get out and take a short walk during the day, and enjoy the cooler weather. If you have no desire to head outdoors for your workout (and we don’t blame you if that’s the case), there are plenty of resources online that you can look to for fun indoor-workout ideas – everything from yoga and aerobics to strength training and chair-based exercises – all in the comfort of your own home. Head over to Pinterest and get pinning!
Get Sufficient Rest
Sleep is fuel that recharges your batteries, so getting the right amount of sleep each night is essential to good health and to disease-prevention and will keep the machine (you) running!
The average person needs between six and eight hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep can you make more productive and will keep your immune system strong. In contrast, if you’re not getting enough sleep, your immune system can weaken and could thereby make you more susceptible to illnesses likes colds and flu, which no-one should have to endure during the most festive season of all.
Wash Your Hands
Hands are referred to as ‘germ factories’ for a reason! Good hand hygiene is the simplest and most effective way to avoid getting colds or flu as well as to stop the germs from spreading, not only in the winter but throughout the year.
Any virus can be spread when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface and leaves secretions behind. However, simply washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap goes a long way in preventing most common winter illnesses, or at least dramatically reduces much of the risks of exposure to them. That’s why you should wash your hands or clean them with a sanitiser or wipes several times throughout the day.
Keep Healthy This Winter
With a little preparation and by following some of the suggestions above, you can reduce the risk of getting sick and stay fit no matter the weather.
Article by The Student Housing Company
A Bit About Our Contributor: The Student Housing Company provides private student halls in cities across the UK, giving you a vibrant, social and comfortable place to stay during your time at university.