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10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter

Creative Commons/Chris

Creative Commons/Chris

10 From GEM:
10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter

First you start sniffling; then the coughing and sneezing follow. Before you know it, you’ve caught a cold. If you’re really unlucky, you get the flu. On average, Americans catch three colds a year, so, chances are, you’ll have a bout with a bug this season. While there are no completely foolproof methods to ensure that you never catch a cold, there are things you can do to lower the risk. Read on for 10 things you can do this winter to keep colds at bay.

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1. WASH YOUR HANDS

Creative Commons/Chun@Vancouver

Creative Commons/Chun@Vancouver

Washing your hands is probably the most effective way to stay healthy all year round. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t catch cold and flu viruses from being cold or going outside without a coat. Viruses are passed along when we touch objects that have germs left behind from other people. Germs enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so that quick eye rub could leave you suffering for a week. It’s best to wash your hands often and keep them away from your mucous membranes.

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2. GET LIGHT THERAPY

Creative Commons/Sebastian Bzinkowski

Creative Commons/Sebastian Bzinkowski

Fewer hours of daylight in the winter can cause some people to experience mood swings, or what’s commonly known as Seasonal affective disorder. To lessen the effects of this disorder, get plenty of vitamin D, exercise, and light therapy. There are special lamps and lights you can buy or make sure that you get outside and soak up some sun for at least 15 minutes a day. You’ll still need to wear sunscreen, but those 15 minutes are a mood-lifter and a source of vitamin D.

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3. DRINK UP

Creative Commons/Maher Dalal

Creative Commons/Maher Dalal

Because we tend not to feel as thirsty in the wintertime, we’re at risk for dehydration. Dehydrated bodies are not operating at their best levels and that can leave them vulnerable to illness. Water helps the body carry nutrients to cells and get rid of toxins. Without enough water, we start dragging. So, drink up! Try to take in half your body weight in ounces of water each day. (If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water.)

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Hearty And Healthy Fall Foods

4. KEEP YOUR GUT HEALTHY

Creative Commons/Dan4th

Creative Commons/Dan4th

Good gut health=good overall health. There’s been a lot of research over the past 20 years or so that back that up; heck even Hippocrates said it more than 2,000 years ago. So this winter make sure to include foods that will help support intestinal health. Reach for natural probiotics like yogurt, kefir, miso soup, cultured vegetables, sauerkraut and don’t forget to take a high quality supplement.

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5. GET MOVING

Creative Commons/Cavan Images

Creative Commons/Cavan Images

Did you k now that shaving a mere 10 pounds off your frame can lower your blood pressure? Physical activity is good for so many things; it regulates blood sugar, possibly keeping diabetes at bay, reduces cardiovascular disease and can stave off age-related bone loss. So don’t let the winter months make you sedentary; takes proper precautions then get out there!

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6. GET PLENTY OF REST

Creative Commons/Lerenka

Creative Commons/Lerenka

Work (out) hard, rest hard. If you want to stay in the game this winter, you’re going to need to make sure those batteries are sufficiently recharged. Sleep is restorative and critical for cell rejuvenation; there’s even evidence that sleeping well can help you lose weight! Hit the hay early and often during the winter months.

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7. EAT A HEALTHY DIET

7 Mundoo

Creative Commons/Mundoo

Helping yourself stay healthy can be as easy as what’s on the end of your fork. Eating healthy is a great way to get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need for energy  and to feel your best. So pile your plate high with colorful fruits and vegetables.

Read more: Cooking Clean and Simple: Dairy-Free Chocolate Almond Crunch Bites

8. TAKE A MULTI-VITAMIN

Creative Commons/lil 1/2 pint

Creative Commons/lil 1/2 pint

The best multivitamin will be one that contains 100% of the recommended daily values of vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D, and the minerals chromium, copper, folic acid, selenium, calcium, and zinc. It’s best to take vitamins during a meal that contains a fat so the body will absorb the nutrients better.

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9. USE HAND SANITIZER

Creative Commons/Industrial Sunscreen

Creative Commons/Industrial Sunscreen

Of course it’s best to use soap and water to clean your hands, but when it’s not available hand sanitizer is the next best thing. When used correctly, they nearly eliminate germs. To do that, use enough so that your hands still feel damp after 10-15 seconds of rubbing your hands. Make it easy to clean your hands by leaving hand sanitizer in your purse or briefcase, in the car, and at your desk at work.

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10. CHILL OUT

Creative Commons/Chickadee (Carole)

Creative Commons/Chickadee (Carole)

There’s good stress and bad stress and most people tend to take on the bad stress. When we are experiencing stress, our mental and physical defenses are down. We’re more likely to have a compromised immune system and engage in unhealthy habits, both of which can lead to illness. As difficult as it might be sometimes, it’s important to relax and do the things that calm us down and bring us joy. Even a few minutes a do can do the trick.

Read more: Ask Rene: The Wedding Never Happened.. What About My Gift? 

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What do you do to stay healthy this time of year?  

 

picmonkey alexis

 Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a writer, a work at home mother, and a new business owner. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org, email her at alexistrasswalker@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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