Only a couple weeks have passed since the Winter Solstice and we've already seen single digits here in Detroit. With the cold comes hot cocoa, holiday cookies and spreading cheer at the office, which can also mean spreading germs. The best way to stay healthy? A good defense strategy. Here are eight ways to help combat the cold.
Drink up. Staying hydrated by drinking water is important, but don't forget about additional forms of hydration like water-packed veggies (how about stir fry with eggplant, zucchini and spinach?) and coconut water, which is high in electrolytes and Vitamin C.
Calm down. Meditation helps reduce stress levels, which can notoriously increase during the holiday season. Take time for yourself to decompress, whatever that means for you. Walk your dog, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, or try a simple breathing technique: close your eyes, count to five as you inhale, hold your breath for a count of five, then exhale as you count to five. Repeat!
Move your body. It’s natural to feel less energetic during the colder months. Regular exercise helps remedy this by releasing endorphins and serotonin in your brain, decreasing stress levels and fighting those gloomy feelings. Small choices like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help.
Raise your morel standards. Or portobello, shiitake, cremini.... you get the picture. Mushrooms are high in Vitamin D, which many people don’t get enough of during the dark winter months. Add mushrooms to your next salad, omelette or pasta dish.
Go nuts. Food with higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts and brazil nuts, are important all year round but especially this time of year, when they'll help protect your skin from harsh temperatures.
Juice your veggies. Try a blend of carrot, beet, spinach and lemon for a one-two punch of Zinc and Vitamin C to keep your immune system in fighting form.
Party on. Social interaction reduces stress and is imperative to human happiness. Instead of becoming a hermit crab because it’s too cold outside, down that carrot-beet-spinach-lemon juice and bundle up. You’ll be happy you did.
Sleep in. Leave the party at a reasonable hour. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential for staying healthy as we move through winter.