Winter – some of us love it, and some of us loathe it, and even if you’re one of the latter we’re betting that with these Hot Tips you’re bound to warm up to the snowy season.
It is important to remember that a change in season has biological and psychological effects on the body and mind; and that winter can be the most shocking of seasons to the body. In fact, it’s safe to say that we are more ‘fragile’ at this time of year and so we need to treat ourselves with a little more compassion during this transition.
We have compiled a list of the most effective strategies to warn off any sign of the winter blues, colds and flu and keep you warm, fit and firing no matter the forecast.
Avoid Flu-Causing Foods
In cold temperatures and during times of illness the body desperately tries to stimulate heat and fluid, producing excess mucous and saliva. This excess production is stimulated by mucous forming foods like dairy, eggs and wheat; and so by avoiding these foods altogether you are significantly mitigating the risk of contracting a cold or flu.
Using spices like Fennel, Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Anise, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Turmeric, Mustard seeds and Cardamom in cooking not only tastes delicious but also ignites what is referred to as the ‘digestive fire’ in ancient Indian medicine and helps to regulate digestion and the excretion of toxins and waste from the body.
Eating fruits rich in vitamin C like oranges, lemons and tangerines are also well known to bind and flush out toxins from the body.
Supplement Vitamin D
The body requires a certain level of Vitamin D in order to function optimally and in winter it is near impossible to gain enough of this from the sun. A prolonged Vitamin D deficiency can have severely detrimental effects on your bone density and overall cell health. This is why we recommend supplementing Vitamin D from only one of the most natural and safe providers out there. Purahealth Vitamin D (www.purahealth.com) is our supplement of choice as it contains high-quality, natural occurring enzymes that deliver a potent dose of Vitamin D to negate any deficiency you may experience during an overcast winter.
Get A Massage
A recent study has shown that massage therapy improves immune function, energy levels and can relieve stress by up to 53%. In fact, a weekly kneading, whether it’s a professional massage or a back rub from your partner is also reported to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, other mood boosters well-known to protect immunity as well. So there you have it ladies, if ever you needed an argument for that foot rub….
While we may not be as inspired to get outside and get moving during Winter, studies reinforce just how important it is for us to move everyday; a University of South Carolina study discovered that those who got in 3 hours a day of moderate activity (the equivalent of a brisk walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or engaging in a social game of tennis) were 35% less likely to catch a cold, compared with those who did only 1 hour.
Our favourite way to get moving during the winter never tends to include a whole lot of cold exposure. Instead we choose to work-out at home with a short yoga practice or HIIT routine that keeps things fun, fast and a little sweaty.
Get Enough Sleep
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; sleep is one of the most powerful tools that we can use to improve our health. Deep sleep is a time of restoration and rejuvenation for the body’s cells and so when we deprive our body of the appropriate time to rest and restore we are left – you guessed it – tired, foggy, and essentially running on empty.
One of our favourite ways to ensure a good night’s sleep in winter is to be warm in bed. This may seem obvious but this simple step is often overlooked by many people who shiver their way into the land of nod. Research tells us that high temperatures are sleep-inducing, meaning that you are more likely to fall asleep faster and slip into a deep ‘REM’ sleep state faster, where the magic happens. The application of a direct heat such and a heat pack, on the abdomen has been known to induce sleep even faster than other measures. You can apply the heat anywhere and gain a similar affect but we can see how a warm tummy might just be the cosiest option.
The best option for your heat pack however comes in the form of natural materials and not the rubber hot water bottles you find on supermarket shelves that contain a whole host of nasties. We love the Jazmin Bell Heat/Cool packs that are filled with quality Australian grown rice grains and are made in unique cotton fabrics with funky, retro fabrics. See for yourself: https://www.jazminbell.com/shop
Embrace these Winter Warming Tips and and await the complements on how ‘radiant’ you are looking this year; and you just might become a source of warmth and sun for others this winter.