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Health & Fitness Ways to stay well all winter

06:15  11 december  2019
06:15  11 december  2019 Source:   closeronline.co.uk

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Winter health tips © Provided by Closer Winter health tips

Sneezing, wheezing and keeping the tissue industry booming? Winter may be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ in some ways, but spending more time indoors with our loved ones can be a mixed blessing when it comes to sharing germs. Factor in a reduction in the exercise that seemed so tempting on long summer evenings, and a serious craving for stodgy comfort food, and you could be setting yourself up for winter sniffles.

a woman wearing a hat talking on a cell phone © Provided by Closer

On average, adults get two or three colds per year, while children are likely to suffer more. But before you lock yourself away to hibernate, there are some simple steps that will not only help you ward off bugs, but will also help control your weight and boost your energy (important when – whisper it – Christmas is just around the corner).

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And because winter in Korea does get cold, it’s important to know just how to get through it without freezing. Maybe even take a little enjoyment by finding ways to stay To combat this Koreans will cover their windows with bubble wrap on all of the inner sides for cheap cold relief that lasts all winter .

One of the best ways to stay healthy in winter is to eat right, and that means lots of vegetables. Not only do you need to eat your veggies every day (at least one serving per meal is ideal), you should make sure you eat one serving of leafy green veggies. Kale is perfect, as is spinach or collard greens.

“Being healthy takes consistency and commitment to four key factors – diet, exercise, relaxation, and supplements,” says Susie Debice, food scientist and nutritional therapist. “The key to success is to find the things you enjoy in each of those areas and embrace them!”

And that’s where we’re here to help

Diet

If you thought you could balance out your biscuit habit with salad for dinner, we have some bad news. “Eating the wrong things is just as destructive as not eating the right things,” says Alison Cullen, A. Vogel nutritional therapist and education manager. “Recent research shows that the sugar levels in chocolate confectionery have risen since the Nineties, so you may think you’re eating the same amount of chocolate but your sugar intake could have shot up – and sugar is one of the factors that impacts negatively on immune function.”

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But how does junk food slow down your immunity? “Vitamins C and E are used to help protect your cells from stress associated with free radicals generated by toxins,” says Susie. “So being more mindful about putting fewer toxins into your body could free up nutrients like Vitamins C and E which also contribute to normal immune function.”

Cutting down on processed food allows these vitamins to work their magic.

So what should you be eating instead?

Aim for the rainbow and you might just reach the pot of immune-boosting gold.

“There are more than 20,000 antioxidants in the fruit and vegetables that we eat, and we need all of them,” says Alison. “Eating an antioxidant-rich diet is so important, and we need to be aiming for a rainbow diet, incorporating many different colours – particularly the dark greens and purples.

“Fresh garlic is another powerful food that is great for the immune system as it has been shown to inhibit more than 20 types of bacteria and at least 60 types of fungus and yeast – so make sure you regularly add some to your meals.

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The best part about the winter is all the fun ways to stay warm in the freezing cold. Personally, I love it when it’s bone chillingly cold outside and I’m snug as a There is a special kind of cheer that a real fire brings. This winter try building your own bonfire from scratch instead of clicking the electric fire on.

a pile of fresh fruit and vegetables: Colourful fruit and veg © Provided by Closer Colourful fruit and veg

If you’re already feeling under the weather, sometimes grandma’s remedies really are the best. And it seems the Government agrees, with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommending that honey should be the first line of treatment for winter coughs. Make it Manuka honey (a New Zealand variety from bees that feed on the manuka bush) for significant antibacterial effects that aren’t seen in standard supermarket honey, according to research from New Zealand.

Manuka Doctor honey (from £25) is available in Holland & Barret

Exercise

It might be cold, rainy and dark, but – just like your dog – your body still craves exercise.

“The human body likes routine, so it’s important not to deviate from your usual diet and exercise plan as we move into the autumn and winter months,” says Keeley Berry, nutritional expert and new product development executive at BetterYou Ltd.

“Regular exercise will not only help you to control weight gain, it will also help boost your immune system.”

American research has backed this up, showing frequent exercisers, who got moving five times a week, were almost half as likely to catch a cold as couch potatoes, and also experienced fewer symptoms. Experts aren’t sure why, but it’s thought gentle exercise might increase your white blood cell count, as well as lowering stress hormones.

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But as with so many things, little and often is the key. “Helping to strengthen the body while releasing endorphins to reduce stress levels, exercise keeps the body healthy, however it can contribute towards a weakened immune system if undertaken in excess. Therefore, those who succumb to infection regularly should exercise in moderation, with regular rest breaks and at a suitable intensity,” advises Keeley.

If in doubt, regular lunchtime strolls or twice-weekly swims in a heated pool should do the trick, in addition to classic movements such as carrying shopping and taking the stairs.

And there’s another good reason to get moving. “Most health experts agree that we don’t get more colds and viruses in the winter because we are being exposed to colder temperatures, but because we spend more time indoors with people who pass on their germs,” says Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa at Your Doctor (www.your-doctor.co.uk)). “Try to get some fresh air whenever you can. Getting out regularly for a short walk will additionally help you get sunlight exposure to increase your levels of Vitamin D, which reduces the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or osteomalacia (softening of bones).”

If you’re in a relationship, getting an early night on a wintery evening can have some serious benefits for your health, as well as your happiness. “Having a healthy sex life involves our nervous, circulatory and muscular systems for starters and therefore contributes to a healthy lifestyle,” says Riccardo. “A study by Wilkes University in the USA concluded that sex boosts the production of immunoglobulin, an antibody that helps fight colds and other viruses.”

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The key to staying well in the winter is treating your body well and feeding it what it needs to fight off invaders and not let them get a toehold. Here’s a roundup of my favorite, easy-to-incorporate wellness tips to help keep your defenses strong all winter long: 1. Eat – and Drink – Your Greens.

You should feel your best this winter and stay motivated to be healthy and strong. It’s easy to let the cold weather mess with your fitness routine. One way to do this is to not let your fitness routine slip. Regular exercise is not only a good way to stay in shape, but it keeps your immune system strong, as

Relaxation

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘keep calm and carry on’, but perhaps ‘keep calm to carry on’ would be more apt – as reducing your stress levels can help you dodge illness and increase your energy.

“I don’t think that most people take on board how stress impacts on the body,” says Susie. “There are so many different forms of stress to watch out for – emotional, financial, lifestyle, relationship, workplace and even intense exercise could be a stress for the body, especially if it’s already feeling tired or exhausted.” We often feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day, especially in the run-up to Christmas, but it pays to have some perspective and be kind to yourself.

“Sometimes people think that being busy means they are being proactive. However, you may just be running on high alert and this may be creating an underlying depletion for your immune system. My advice is always to slow down, take a breath and let your nervous system and adrenal glands come into a state of balance.”

Spending some quality time to rest your mind and body is an important way to stay calm – and therefore healthy. “The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress immune system efficiency, so taking steps such as yoga, massages and pursuing hobbies to reduce daily stressors is likely to positively impact immune response,” says Keeley.

Another healthy habit is making sure to meet up with friends or family for a giggle. “It sounds a little silly but laughter may increase the production of antibodies and white blood cells in your body and reduce hormones associated with stress. So not only does laughing help you mentally, but also physically,” says Riccardo.

But if you were just looking for an excuse for an early night – here’s the case for a spot of hibernation. “Maintaining a consistent sleep routine, by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help to optimise sleep quality and allow the body to reset, fighting off any potential pathogens you may have picked up throughout the day,” says Keeley

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