When most people are posed with the question, “What is your favourite season?” the most frequently heard answer is winter; and understandably so. A season filled with festivities, cosy weather, occasion to don on the fanciest clothes without having to profusely sweat in them, eating and drinking food and drinks that warm your soul and body, what’s there not to like about it! But there are always two sides to every coin, and winter is no stranger to that.
A drop in the mercury brings with it a plethora of problems such as seasonal flu, skin dryness, trouble with breathing due to the surrounding cold air, lack of exercise owing to less frequent outdoor visits, to name a few. Keeping healthy during winter is thus on everyone’s minds. There are solutions to all predicaments, no matter how big or small. This blog will help you in combating some of the most commonly encountered difficulties faced during the winter season.
Irrespective of whether you wish to stay indoors for majority of the season and enjoy some privacy, or you are preparing your body to go on vacations to some of the winter wonderlands, this article will have something that caters to your requirements and help you out in the way that you desire.
There are a handful of aspects that one needs to take care of in order for a holistic approach towards good and good life.
One of the first signs that reflect the onset of winter is dry and rough skin, primarily chapped lips and cracked heels. Hydration is key throughout the year, but especially during winters. Traditionally, you should drink plenty of fluids, such as water and seasonal fruit juices, and use a good moisturiser like the Plum 3% Vitamin C Moisturiser twice or thrice a day to keep your skin thoroughly moisturised. If feasible, having a proper skincare routine helps extensively in preserving the quality of your skin. To accentuate the level of hydration your skin receives, try incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine, be it in the form of a moisturiser, a serum, or a lotion. It is known to retain excellent amounts of moisture, reduce wrinkles and lines, and keep the skin stretched.
2. Hair care
Similar to the skin, hair also requires some tending to during the winter season. The harsh cold weather and dryness can often take a toll on the condition of your hair, necessitating an established hair care routine. Static electricity, winter winds, and heat from appliances and indoor heating are the primary factors which can impact your hair during winters. One of the key techniques of preventing dry hair is oiling your hair often to replenish moisture in it. Besides using regular conditioner post shampoo, it is advisable to use a leave-in conditioner like the Ashba Botanics Leave-in Conditioner which offers protection against the harsh cold.
Over-washing your hair is the number one habit that needs to be eliminated from your routine. This strips your hair of natural oils that keep it moisturised. Ideally, you should wash your hair 2-3 times a week, but depending on your lifestyle and hair quality, that number can be variable. Applying a hair mask every one or two weeks can help reverse the damage caused to your hair and add shine to your hair, besides hydrating and softening it. Lastly, although it can be quite tempting to take a hot shower during winters, ensure to use only lukewarm water to wash your hair. Hot water subjects your hair to stress, thereby making it more prone to breakage which consequently leads to severe hair fall.
3. Healthy diet
Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a major attraction for winters. What we eat is reflected onto our appearance, hence, it is crucial to focus on keeping your diet clean and healthy. A well-balanced diet includes sufficient amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Winter, being a major festive season, poses serious challenges to eating healthy. It is thus desirable to formulate a winter healthy eating plan. However, it is not necessary that eating junk food has to hamper your gut health and overall wellbeing. Occasional snacks and rich food items are fine, as long as you are balancing them out with an equal or a larger proportion of healthy items at home.
A critical component to include in your diet during winters is vitamin C; it plays a role in strengthening your immune system and maintaining healthy skin, bones, and blood vessels. You can try the Swisse Biotin+ With Nicotinamide, Rosehip & Vitamin C which is a great supplement for skin & hair. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, grapefruit, and pomelo are great sources of vitamin C. Another winter specialty is root vegetables, such as sweet potato, yams, beetroot, radishes and carrots. They are rich in carbohydrates and, being complex in nature, take time to metabolise. This ensures that you feel satiated for a long time and your blood sugars do not shoot up after consuming them.
Vitamin D supplements are an essential during winters, if you are not receiving enough sunlight. Lack of vitamin D could lead to seasonal depression and other ailments like body aches. Soaking up the sun or eating vitamin D rich foods could be an alternative to taking supplements. Omega 3 fatty acid supplements also help in alleviating the body of pain and stiffness.
Cold weather can drive people to remain confined to the warmth and comfort of their home, cocooned up in their blankets with a cup of hot chocolate. The will to be active and exercise is on a decline. In such times, it is important to remind yourself that staying idle can adversely impact your immune system, leading you to develop the flu and other illnesses. Incorporating some mild home exercises, yoga, or a run in your daily lifestyle could aid in breaking from the stagnancy of winters and parallelly, keep your body hot and agile.
Observing good hygiene practices like washing hands frequently to keep bacteria and viruses at bay, washing clothes often to avoid the accumulation of germs should be followed.
Where there is a will, there is a way; and if you have the will to remain at your fittest and make the most of this winter, following these healthy winter tips religiously might help bring you closer to that goal. Moreover, if you incorporate these healthy winter habits into your daily routine for the rest of the New Year, it might set you on a healthy and productive track for 2023! Have a happy, healthy, and happening winter!
- Srishti Chakraborty