Snuggle weather shouldn’t keep you from staying in shape, so stay fit with these healthy eating tips this winter.
Keep Fit with These Healthy Eating Tips This Winter
1. Kick-Start Your Day with Porridge
Eating a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to start the day.
It is full of antioxidants that help protect against heart disease. This winter meal has fiber content that helps lower bad cholesterol and prevents constipation.
Increase your winter food’s nutrition with these:
- Nuts and seeds for healthy fat and tissue repair
- Pears to combat cell-damaging free radicals
- Dates for calcium, iron, and healthy sugar
- Apples for vitamin C and B-complex
- Cranberries to boost the immune system and pump up your vitamins A and K levels
2. Drink Green Tea
All the health benefits of green tea have researchers raving about it. It can help soothe symptoms of a sore throat with its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Regular intake also helps improve blood flow and lowers cholesterol. Green tea may also help in stabilizing blood sugar levels for people who have diabetes.
Research shows that green tea helps prevent plaque formation, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Winter is also flu season that behooves you to boost your immune system with nutrient-rich vitamins to avoid getting sick. Make salads, soups, side dishes, or juices out of fruits and veggies to get your recommended daily dose.
Iron helps transport oxygen around your body to keep you from getting easily exhausted. It also helps maintain healthy nails, hair, and skin.
Food sources of iron include:
- Lean beef
- Baked potatoes
Vitamin C protects against immune system deficiencies, prenatal health problems, skin wrinkling, and eye disease. Examples of foods rich in vitamin C are:
- Red peppers
- Sweet potatoes
Zinc is important in the process of DNA synthesis. It promotes healthy growth in childhood and recovery from wounds.
It also helps regulate and control immune responses by attacking cancerous or infected cells. Examples of zinc-rich foods are:
Pomegranate juice contains more antioxidants than most of the other fruit juices. Vitamin C is also present to help strengthen the immune system.
This juice helps improve blood flow and prevents arteries from becoming thick and stiff.
RELATED: Top 10 Cold Weather Health Tips
4. Drink Milk and Eat Dairy Products
Milk has been a staple drink since we were kids and with good reason. The amount of nutrients it contains is astounding, which is why we need to drink it every day.
- Vitamin A supports the growth of tissues of the hair and skin. It also helps keep the eyes healthy.
- Calcium helps build strong bones.
- Vitamin B12 helps create red blood cells and aids in the synthesis of DNA.
- Protein helps build and repair muscles and cartilage.
Go for semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and plain or low-fat yogurt over the full-fat ones to avoid weight gain.
5. Stock Up on Honey
Honey isn’t just sweet and delicious, but it also contains a ton of medicinal properties.
- The polyphenols in honey help strengthen the immune system by fighting free radicals.
- The antioxidants in this golden medicine help in lowering blood pressure.
- Honey can be used to treat burns and wounds.
- The mixture of ginger and honey helps soothe a sore throat.
Polyphenols Definition: Polyphenols contain phytochemicals found in plants that have potent antioxidizing effects.
6. Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated during the summer is a no-brainer. It’s the same thing during winter.
Dehydration during winter can cause muscle fatigue, exhaustion, and cramps. It can also weaken your immune system.
A good rule of thumb is to try to drink ½ to 1 oz of water daily for every pound that you weigh.
7. Buy Frozen Veggies
Although fresh veggies are the healthier option for your recipes, frozen vegetables are sometimes more nutritious than fresh ones. Freezing alone inhibits the vegetables’ nutrients from being lost during transportation or display at the grocery stores.
Frozen ones do not have preservatives as well because they are preserved naturally. You can also reduce food waste as you can use only what you need and then return the remaining ones in the fridge for future use.
8. Try Online Shopping for Foods
If it’s difficult for you to go outside and buy the things and winter foods you need for a week because it’s cold and icy, try online shopping for fresh fruits, veggies, and meat. Some groceries have online shops and can provide door-to-door delivery, so you don’t have to brave the cold outside.
You can also try checking supermarkets near you that accept orders by phone—this is convenient for those who don’t have internet access.
9. Avoid Eating for Comfort
The cold weather and long nights can be tempting for food to comfort you and keep you warm. This increases your chances of gaining more weight.
As much as possible, resist the urge to eat comfort foods by doing something that makes you happy or busy. You can do household chores, perform light indoor exercises, read your favorite novels, or watch television.
If you are starving outside of your regular eating schedule, try a bowl of stewed fruit or homemade vegetable soup to help you get through the next meal healthily.
Other Wellness Tips to Try This Cold Season
Aside from following the healthy eating tips this winter, you can also do other non-eating best practices to stay fit. Try these:
1. Go Outside
The icy and cold weather may not be the perfect temperature to walk around in, but it’s still good to go outside to stay healthy, given it’s not raining. It may help clear your mind and may help you feel relaxed.
Once you start moving, your body warms up. Don’t use your car and just walk to keep your circulatory system moving.
You can visit the nearest convenience store. Using the stairs instead of the escalators is another form of light exercise.
2. Avoid Sitting for Long Hours
Sitting for a long period is not good for your body because it slows down your circulation. It also makes you feel lazy, especially when it’s cold.
Try to move around the house and keep your body warm. You can perform an indoor exercise, do chores, or decorate your home, whatever keeps you active in the house.
3. Sweat It Out
The cold weather should not be a hindrance to your regular workout. You need to let all your sweat come out through your exercise despite the cold so that you won’t break your routine.
Exercising during winter is not just about keeping you physically active but also enjoying what you do. If you don’t want to do it at home, you can visit the nearest gym and socialize with other fitness enthusiasts.
4. Get a Flu Shot
It may be helpful to boost your immune system through your winter diet, but it’s still different if you get a flu vaccine. A flu shot provides you with the inactive form of the closest match to the virus for the year.
When your body receives a flu shot, it forms antibodies that serve as a “reserve army” for your immune system. Once the flu hits you, this reserve army attacks the virus upon the first contact.
It strengthens your health defense against viruses causing illnesses.
5. Wash Your Hands Frequently
This healthy tip may be overlooked at some point, but it’s an easy activity you can do to prevent unwanted germs, bacteria, and viruses from entering your system.
When you’re at home, always wash your hands before and after eating. Wet your hands evenly and rub the soap all over hands, especially the gaps between your fingers.
Use mild soap, and don’t forget to put hand moisturizers after washing to prevent your skin from cracking due to coldness and dryness.
If you’re always traveling, you can bring sanitizers to easily clean your hands.
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Every Day
The benefits of getting a restful sleep every day are a lot. It:
- Enhances concentration and focus
- Recharges your mind and body
- Keeps your heart healthy
- Reduces your risk of diabetes
- Puts you in a better mood
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves memory
- Reduces stress
Make sure to get at least seven hours of restful sleep a day. Lack of sleep increases your risk of developing illnesses because your body does not have enough time to recharge.
You can also take a short nap during the day if it helps you recharge to finish your tasks for the day. Just make sure to limit napping to not more than 30 minutes, as it might cause difficulty falling asleep at night.
7. Manage Stress
Stress can be financial, people, emotional, physical, psychological, and mental and can cause your body to be vulnerable to illnesses. It weakens your immune system.
Try to avoid people and situations that make you feel stressed. If you can’t, learn how to control how you feel.
Make sure to find time each day to relax. If it’s difficult for you to do this, try relaxing at least twice a week and work your way up gradually.
You can do meditation, massage, aromatic warm bath, or relax at home with soft music to reduce stress levels.
Download this infographic now and reference it later:
Watch this video and learn the six healthy eating tips this winter to stay in top shape:
Staying hydrated and eating a balanced meal for the holidays can keep you from feeling sluggish and improve your health and well-being. Remember to take care of yourself with these healthy eating tips this winter so you can enjoy the holidays.
How do you stay fit during winter? What are other healthy habits for the winter can you add to the list above? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 20, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.