Despite the fact that exercise is considered ‘a wonder drug’, it can actually weaken immune system if it’s done irresponsibly, therefore increasing the risk of injury and illness, especially over the winter period... No wonder they call it winter blues! Cold weather actually creates risks to us that we may not be aware of. Recognising the risks/patterns of illness ahead of time is the key to preventing them. Here are some healthy winter habits that will help you become more aware of your health falls and what to do to boost it during this time of year:
- Eat more green and orange vegetables– This one may seem extremely obvious but you’d be surprised how many people ignore it! Primarily sticking to fruit and veg that are green and orange coloured is essential for ensuring the consumption of healthy nutrients, sugars and fats. Foods such as: carrots, oranges spinach and kale may seem boring, but there are plenty of recipes available to help you incorporate foods like these into your regular winter diet.
- Cut down on the carbs – As good as carbs can be, like anything, carbohydratesdo have the potential to be bad. Cold weather ignites cravings for carbs and comfort foods… This is because serotonin levels riseafter you consume these foods, making your brain think you feel happier. To counteract these cravings, try eating a protein packed breakfast to keep energy up throughout the day. Finding a way to increase serotonin without food is best way to beat the carb cravings.
- Plan any workouts in advance - Sticking to a weekly exercise plan can really help to stay consistent. Take some time once a week to make a fitness schedule for the week ahead. Be very specific with workout routines, activities or exercises for each day with an estimate of how long they will be. Ensuring you know what you’re scheduled to do each day makes it a lot easier to stick to. In addition, scheduling workouts with a friend can really help to encourage each other to keep going and stay motivated.
- Cook with mushrooms – Believe it or not, there are many different species of mushrooms that are known to boost the immune system. This is because mushrooms have natural antibiotics. This means that they have certain medicinal properties which helps us fight off many different types of illness.