Winter can bring coughs, colds and winter weight gain, so it is vital that we all remain as healthy as we can.
With the clocks going back, making the sun hide away a little longer, we would like to remind you of three simple ways that you can make yourself healthier throughout the colder months: exercising, eating healthily and taking supplements.
It may feel harder to get outside now that the weather is colder, however it is still advised to exercise daily even if this is a 10 minute walk during a lunch break. There are many benefits to walking, including lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress and the risk of diabetes.
When walking you should try and be brisk, making you breathe faster and feel warmer due to raising your heart rate. Walking briskly for half an hour could help you burn around 150 calories, which will help you in becoming a healthier you.
If you cannot stand the cold, why not take the stairs at work instead of the lift? Even so much as a few flights of stairs can increase the endorphins in your body to create a positive impact in your life.
As you have heard many times before, healthy eating and exercise go very much hand in hand. It may be very tempting to eat sugary or quick comfort foods during the winter instead of the healthy cold salads that you may have consumed over the summer, however eating too many of these meals may increase your saturated fat levels, raising the risk of heart disease and decreasing your immunity levels.
One of our doctors, Dr Petrie, gave us a few of his top tips that can you can easily adapt into your everyday life:
- Snacking the right foods before dinner may mean you have less on your plate during a main meal.
- Never take a bag of crisps with you when you sit down.
- Never go hungry, have a handful of nuts instead of chocolate.
- have a smaller plate at meal times and pack with vegetables.
- Do not go for low calorie fizzy drinks, a study found those who had soda or diet soda still put on weight compared to participants drinking no soda at all.
Sometimes eating healthily may not be enough for your body to absorb enough nutrients. A new study published by medicalxpress has found that cold ambient temperatures can increase vitamin A levels in humans and mice. Vitamin A levels can also be found in dairy, meat and fish in our diets, so it is very easy to come by.
So why is this important to the winter? This increase in vitamin A helps convert "bad" white adipose tissue into "good" brown adipose tissue, stimulating fat burning and heat generation, which can also enhance energy consumption too.
Our vitamin D levels over the winter are also severely reduced due to the lack of sunlight and more people staying indoors, which plays a significant role in your heart health and immunity. With the threat of the coronavirus around us, as well as the usual seasonal cold and flu illnesses, it is very important to keep our vitamin D levels as high as possible.
We have a supplement shop on the My Specialist GP website, so that you can quickly and easily purchase any of the supplements you require, such as vitamins A and D.
By exercising, eating healthily and taking any supplements recommended to you by a doctor, you may find yourself with a better immune system, thus less likely to catch illnesses such as the cold and flu. These simple steps to keeping your body healthier can also lead to long term benefits such as increased cardiovascular health.
If you would like more information about what supplements may help you over the winter, or how you can keep as healthy as possible in the colder months, it is very quick and easy to book a consultation with us to see one of our specialist doctors - simply click here.