1. Drink Water: With the cold temperatures and the use of indoor heaters it is easy to get dehydrated/experience dry skin. Many people don’t think to drink as often as they do in the summer, when it is hot, so it is especially important to make an effort to stay hydrated. Remember that staying hydrated will increase your energy, detoxify your body, nourish your organs, keep your skin healthy, reduce headaches and increase your satiety. Challenge yourself to drink an extra 8-ounce glass of water for every serving of sugar, coffee and alcohol you consume. As a general rule, I recommend that individuals start with drinking 50% of their body weight in ounces of water per day for example: If you weigh 200 pounds then drink 100 ounces of water, 150 pounds would be 75 oz of water.
2. Sleep: This may sound simple but with the sun going down earlier then we may be used to, it is easy to lose track of time and stay up later then we intended. Adequate sleep is important for many reasons including increased resistance to infections. At least 7.0 hours of sleep a night is important for optimal health.
3. Wash your hands: This is one of the simplest ways to avoid infection. If you wash your hands often you are much more likely to avoid infection from others around you who are ill. A good rule of thumb is to wash twice as often as you may think is necessary.
4. Exercise: Exercise has multiple benefits including such things as decreasing your chances of gaining weight during a time of year when many people are likely to put on a few pounds, increasing your resistance to common infections like the flu, decreasing your risk of many chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart attacks, increasing your energy, improving your mood, and promoting better sleep.
5. Eat Well: We tend to forget in the winter about the importance of vegetables! They are still as important as ever so don't forget to get as many as possible. Every meal should include at least one vegetable- even breakfast. Try cooking up some spinach with garlic and sesame seeds- a big batch- and warm them up in the morning with your eggs or grain for breakfast. Soups and stir-fries are a great way to get lots of vegetables into every meal (these can be warmed up to be eaten with breakfast the next day). I recommend striving for 7-11 servings. I know it may sound like a lot - but if you are eating 1-2 servings at breakfast the rest of the meals are easier. Make sure to eat lots of warming foods and AGAIN don't forget to eat your vegetables!!! Some examples of warming foods: soups, teas, stir- fries, other cooked (rather than raw) foods that emphasize warming spices such as ginger and garlic.
For an individualized plan created for your specific health and wellness needs call Belfast Natural Medicine at 207-322-8922 and schedule an appointment. Stay warm out there and be well!