The winds pick up, the sun sets all too early, and you pull that heavy blanket up to the tip of your nose while you curl on the couch. These cooling days make you dream of hot coco and a big bowl of chili, especially with Halloween coming and the constant dominoes of holidays thereafter.
Even with holidays and occasions to eat rich treats, it’s important to keep moving and eat healthy in coming months. Ignoring either of these—combined with the “season’s greetings” of germs—can more easily leave you sick. Follow along as we lay out how to keep your body healthy and muscles engaged moving into the end-of-year festivities!
How to prevent sickness
If you’re family hasn’t yet been hit by the flu recently, you surely know other families who have already suffered this season. The most important tip to avoid the flu (or any other bug) is to wash your hands regularly. Not only is it the number-one way to prevent the spread of germs you’re carrying, but the washing and “germ zapping” actually boosts your immune system.
To ward off the first signs of sickness, turn to your multivitamin. To give yourself an extra boost, take extra vitamin C or load up on oranges. Finally, make sure you’re sleeping enough. With the longer nights, this should be easier to accomplish (especially after that occasional big meal over the holidays). Ensuring your body is well rested will help it fight off any impending sickness.
How to stay moving
When the temperatures dip below freezing come winter, there will be little incentive to hit the pavement for a run (or even to leave the comforts of your own bed). If you are a member of a gym, you might be best slogging out your miles on the treadmill, so get into the habit now before it’s too cold. If you find gym equipment boring, consider streaming a show that you only allow yourself to watch at the gym. The cliffhanger episodes might push you to run that extra mile.
If you really do prefer outdoor workouts, the cold doesn’t prevent you from getting your heartbeat up in Arlington. Once you invest in a little cold-weather gear, managing falling temperatures should be relatively easy. Beware that it could take longer to warm up, though, so start slow and listen to your body to prevent injuries.
Finally, use this time to try out new fitness classes. Winter is a great time to try free classes many studios offer for first time students. Give spinning or yoga a try! Mixing up your workout is a great way to increase your fitness level and get stronger.
How to eat right
Cold weather doesn’t normally inspire us to eat healthy (at Dr. Marchbanks’ office, we see the results of this every year). Instead, it triggers a reaction in your brain that makes your body “prepare for winter” by craving heavy foods. That, plus the regular invitations to parties and events over the holidays, make for an all-too-tempting combination.
Unlike our ancestors (who didn’t always have food readily available in the winter and were forced to rely on fat stores), we have guaranteed access to fresh food year-round. Consider making healthier options like vegetable soup or turkey chili to warm you up the next time you’re hit with a craving. Little changes can make a big difference over the next few months!
Also, don’t forget to load up on fruits. While many people assume fruit is best served as a summertime food, the truth is that these sweet and crunchy treats contain essential vitamins that will help you ward off sickness and keep your family healthy over coming months.
Finally, don’t forget to increase your water intake. Drinking more water helps prevent chapped lips and keep your skin from feeling dry. And this advice wouldn’t be complete without mentioning your dental health, too. Dr. Marchbanks is your Arlington dentist, after all, and we understand that Halloween and the rest will mean that we’ll all be eating some indulgent stuff. By drinking just a little more water (especially after meals), you’ll boost your dental health and help prevent decay.
Don’t let the dropping temperatures keep you from hitting your fitness goals and eating a healthy diet (and healthy teeth)! In order to combat germs, it’s essential you keep moving, get enough sleep, and load up on healthy foods whenever you can. Make this fall and winter your healthiest yet!