Secrets to Maintaining a Winter Wellness
Beat the winter slumps this festive season with advice from Dr Hilary Jones
As the temperature drops and the days darken and shorten, is the winter ‘hibernation’ inevitable?
With the indulgent festive season upon on us, being proactive about our health and maintaining a winter wellness is the key to feeling and looking fab for the party season. Dr Hilary Jones shares his top tips on how to beat the winter slumps before they beat you.
Dr Hilary's Top Winter Wellness Tips
"Finding the motivation to go to the gym when the weather has taken an arctic turn can be difficult, but it’s important to keep active especially in the winter months. Any activity that contributes to overall fitness can boost wellbeing and mood. If you are finding it difficult to get yourself into a training gym but have access to a pool, aqua aerobics and swimming are great gentle exercises for boosting our physical health as well as our mental health. Research shows that swimmers tend to live longer and have better moods than people who don’t exercise."
Everything Starts with Breakfast
"When we wake up our brain and muscles need some much needed fuel to be prepared for the day ahead. I love eating bircher muesli with oats, nuts, apples and berries, or another favourite is a smoked salmon omelette packed with protein, vitamin D and omega 3 essential fatty acids. Eating a healthy breakfast can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol."
"The festive period is all about socialising and spending time with loved ones. Having a hearing check is key to ensuring you or a family member don’t miss out on the Christmas fun. People who have mild to significant hearing loss are between two and five times more likely to develop dementia - this is even more reason to get checked even sooner. This festive season take advantage of a free hearing test at one of the Hidden Hearing’s high street hearing centre." Click here for more information.
"With cold weather comes central heating, which of course means copious amounts of dry air. A combination of dry air and the cold can lead to dehydration and fatigue so you should aim to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated. This will also help boost your energy levels, improve blood circulation and flush out any toxins from the body. The good news is that tea and coffee count towards your fluid intake, but keep an eye on caffeinated intake - try hot water with a squeeze of lemon or fresh apple and a cinnamon stick for a festive twist."
Avoid The Festive Food Coma
"Whilst Christmas is all about indulging in all the festive treats and delicious meals, keep an eye on the amount you are eating. Gobbling down a large meal diverts blood from the rest of our body to the digestive system to break down food. This can explain the sluggish feeling straight after eating your meal. Try sticking to a normal sized plate portion and chew slowly. This will not only allow your body to digest the meal properly, it also allows the brain to tell your body that it’s full. Snacking throughout the day can also help you avoid overeating at dinner times, but we don't mean emptying the contents of the Quality Street tin, we are talking about sensible snacking. Try a handful of unsalted nuts or a small bowl of plain yoghurt with sliced banana as these provide great sources of protein to help slow stomach emptying."
Wrap Up Warm
"Being cold can make us feel sluggish as our body functions slow down in an attempt to retain heat. Did you know that staying warm is a surprising secret to feeling merry - so bundle up in warm, cosy layers. Hot drinks also help raise or core temperature – your favourite festive tipple however actually causes a drop in body temperature so skip the ‘hot teddy’ and opt for your favourite herbal tea instead."
Catch Some Z
"Next to washing our hands, getting enough sleep might be one of the most effective ways to avoid a cold or the flu. Sleep is also vital for refreshing and repairing our mind and body. Hitting the hay for a good 8 hours keeps the immune system strong which means you are less likely to pick up the bug that is doing its rounds in the office, or might be lingering at home."