After a wet and (occasionally) warm summer, it seems that winter is certainly on its way, as a result we should be trying to stay healthy. It is getting colder! It is an unfortunate reality that more often than not, the cold weather brings with it a higher chance of getting sick. With that comes a higher chance of losing touch with health and fitness.
Whilst there are 2 years of COVID behind us, there is always the ever present risk of catching it. Combine this with the strongly rebounding flu season, staying healthy this winter should be your #1 priority.
Not only will it make the cold weather more manageable, but it will also allow you to arrive at the summer months in great shape instead of trying to start from scratch.
Here are some simple tips that you can utilise to ensure that you keep on track with your health and fitness goals this winter.
Be sure your nutrition includes winter fruit and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals.
Foods such as:
- Sweet potato
- Green leafy vegetables
- Kiwi fruit
- Garlic and ginger
Making sure that your daily nutritional intake is filled with these healthy and nutritious options means that you are giving your body the best chance to work as effectively and efficiently as possible. A healthy nutritional intake is one of the biggest impactors for staying healthy this winter.
Yes it is cold. Yes it is easy to stay in bed. If you make sure to keep a regular exercise routine, your body will be developing the ability to fight sickness.
Maintaining regular exercise throughout winter means that you are also setting yourself up for a fantastic summer. The aim each year should always be to finish it better than you started.
A consistent winter program will allow this to occur!
Tip: Make sure to spend time warming up before you start your exercise, as it can take a little longer for your joints to loosen up in the cold weather.
Deep sleep is the body’s only real chance to repair itself. If you are unwell or on the verge of sickness, the best thing that you can do is get an appropriate amount of sleep.
Proper sleep (eight hours for an adult) can help keep the body’s immune system healthy and fight off colds.
Regular exercise, the correct nutrition, relaxation techniques and establishing a regular sleep routine may help to promote improved sleep and reduce the chance of illness.
Don’t forget to keep drinking water!
As the weather cools down and our thirst decreases it is easy to forget to drink enough. You still need to aim for about two litres/day of water consumption during winter, as it is essential for our body to function. Staying hydrated means that your body can effectively transport vitamins and minerals around the body, flush out toxins, increase brain function and improve muscle efficiency.
Supplements containing herbs and nutrients such as echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, and zinc will help to support healthy immune function.
Combining vitamin supplements with a healthy nutritional intake and regular exercise means that you are giving your body the best chance to fight potential bugs. You will also grow and develop in line with your health and fitness goals.
Your immune system is vital for staying healthy this winter, are you doing everything you can to boost it?
Stress and healthy mood
Stress, as discussed in previous posts, can cripple even the most perfect week of nutrition and exercise. It is important to manage stress well in everyday life, during the winter it is even more critical.
High stress levels can lower the resistance to nasty bugs by depressing the immune system, and if the immune system is low bugs take hold much easier. Manage your stress levels effectively, and you will go a long way to enabling the immune system to maintain a high level at all times.
Keeping bugs at bay
Taking the correct measures to reduce the chance of infection and cross contamination is easy and just takes a little bit of conscious effort.
Wash or sanitise your hands regularly and avoid close contact with someone who has a cold. These are the simple rules that have kept us safe during COVID!
Keep household surfaces and appliances clean when someone in the family has a cold. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is a life saver when you are out and about, and can go a long way to neutralizing other peoples germs.
Maintain/Establish a routine
Routine is key, create a plan and stick to it. Set a goal that you want to achieve for each month of winter and make sure you hold yourself accountable to it. This will enable you to feel motivated and inspired to continue to work through the colder weather.
Find a workout buddy
Having someone to exercise with means that you have an extra layer of accountability built in to your life. This means that when you do not want to exercise you have someone who can get you moving and vice versa.
If you build a support network around you then there is a much higher chance that they will hold you accountable when you don’t feel like doing a workout. Building layers of support in life is crucial to success and that is no different with exercise and staying healthy.
Participate in Group Exercise
Consistently exercising on your own can be a lonely journey, and it can be even harder in the winter time. Finding a facility that offers group exercise means that you can surround yourself in a positive environment of like-minded people. This will not only make exercise in the colder months a bit easier to do, but you are also getting a really good workout at the same time.
Winter is a tough time, but if you stay committed to your exercise and nutrition, you will not only move forwards with your health and fitness, but you will also keep illness at bay.
Set monthly goals. Find people to keep you accountable. Eat the right food. Get the right amount of sleep. Stay hydrated and take extra precautions for germs. Small steps put into regular practice will make the world of difference.
You can do it!
Want To Learn More?
Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
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