Published on January 28th, 2021
Seven tips for staying healthy and fit this winter
Brrr … it’s chilly out there! With falling temperatures, it can be hard to maintain your health and wellness goals. Here’s a few tips from the Nature’s Way team for keeping your body and mind in optimum health throughout the cold winter months:
1. Turn that snow and sleet to your advantage!
Sure, it’s easier to exercise when it’s warm outside – but that sedentary winter lifestyle can result in decreased mood and the worsening of chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure. So layer up and make the most of what Jack Frost throws your way! Along with those frosty winds come classic outdoor activities like skiing, skating, snowshoeing and snowboarding – all great ways of getting outside and getting your exercise.
Rather stay close to home? Set up some winter games in your backyard instead! How about a snowman-building competition or setting up a backyard rink? Tobogganing is also great fun and even if you don’t have a big enough hill on your property, you can head out to a nearby park or schoolyard. Bottom line, there’s plenty of ways to get your heart rate up even when the mercury is falling.
2. Make sure you get your vitamin D.
Up here in the Northern hemisphere, the amount of daylight we get during winter is minimal, meaning that Canadians don’t get a lot of natural Vitamin D for months on end. Health Canada1. recommends that adults get a minimum recommended daily allowance (RDI) of 600-800 IU (15-20 mcg) of vitamin D daily year-round. Taking a Vitamin D supplement is a convenient way to avoid Vitamin D deficiency, which can impair bone mineralization2 and worsen osteoporosis in adults.
Nature’s Way NutraSea+D is a great-tasting, ultra-pure omega-3 supplement that helps support the maintenance of good health and includes 1000 IU of Vitamin D.
3. Eat nutritiously
We tend to let our nutritional habits fall by the wayside when it’s cold outside. Comfort food is in and salads are out –– despite those New Years’ resolutions, it’s only too easy to overindulge in all the wrong foods! Make a point of hitting the fruit and vegetable section when shopping, making healthy foods and limiting your intake of packaged and processed foods whenever possible.
4. Build a consistent indoor workout routine
As we discussed, there are lots of activities you can enjoy during winter. But they’re not for everyone – which is where using your own space and incorporating at-home workouts into your everyday routine can be very helpful.
A great workout doesn’t require an elaborate home gym set-up. Using lightweight equipment like resistance bands and physio balls are effective ways for anyone to stay fit. Plus, there are plenty of equipment-free bodyweight exercises you can do to build muscles and burn calories, like squats, push-ups and planking. Yoga is also a great way to build strength and stay flexible.
Even if you’re not a fan of snow and sleet, there’s plenty of ways to stick to your exercise routine this winter.
5. Build exercise into your everyday
Not ready to get jump into full workout mode yet? Incorporating exercise and physical activity into your day doesn’t have to involve gym shorts and spandex. There’s an opportunity with everything you do to build in simple ways to stay fit throughout the day:
- Build in five or 10 minutes to stretch when you get out of bed
- Go for a walk during your coffee or lunch break.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever you can.
- Walk home from work if you live nearby.
- Make time to play outside with your kids or pets.
- Take a quick break to do some desk stretches at work or in your home office.
Simply put, making a conscious effort to stay active throughout your everyday can add up to big health benefits.
6. Set fitness goals you’ll actually achieve
It’s always best to ease into a fitness routine so you don’t burn out. Start with small realistic goals and keep setting the bar higher for yourself – persistence pays off! For instance, let’s say you want to add a half-hour jog or run to your morning routine. Start with a 10-minute walk around your neighbourhood and as your fitness level increases, try speeding up your pace to a brisk walk. Before you know it, you’ll have worked your way up to that half-hour jog. Play it safe and take things even slower to avoid slips and falls when the sidewalks are icy.
7. Take preventative health measures.
Wash your hands frequently during cold and flu season. Make sure to lather up for at least 40 to 60 seconds and rinse and dry your hands thoroughly. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
Wearing a mask can help minimize the spread of viral infections, as well as limiting your social interactions.
Getting the flu vaccine is recommended by health experts3. This is especially important for vulnerable people, those over 65 and under the age of six, and women who are pregnant. Getting the vaccine not only keeps you healthy but it also helps protect those who are vulnerable by stopping the spread.
Supplementing with natural health supplements like elderberry can help to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Nature’s Way Sambucus is a great way to ensure that you’re getting a standardized dose of elderberry extract – spoiler alert, it’s delicious!
So here’s to making it through the winter months more healthy and fit than ever! Before changing your diet, taking health supplements or starting any activity program, be sure to talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional.
1. Government of Canada, Canada
2. Yoshida T, Stern PH. How vitamin D works on bone. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012 Sep;41(3):557-69. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 22. PMID: 22877429.
3. Government of Canada, Canada
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/vaccines-immunization/canadian-immunization-guide-statement-seasonal-influenza-vaccine-2020-2021.html; Immunize Canada, Canada, https://immunize.ca/immunization-mandatory-canada