Longer nights make winter the perfect time to catch up on your sleep. Few of us get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Make the most of the darker, shorter evenings and get an early night. Sleep can have a profound effect on your mood and ability to carry out your daily tasks, as well as being vital for good health.
Eat for heat
Wrapping up in winter woollies is one way to keep your body toasty, certain foods can also help by heating us up from the inside. We are naturally drawn to warming soups and hot beverages when it’s cold outside, some foods even stimulate heat production more than others. Pungent ingredients – like spicy ginger, chilli, pepper and garlic – can aid circulation and generate warmth. Coughs and colds are rife at this time of year so make sure you keep your immune system boosted by eating plenty of leafy green vegetables and fruits packed with vitamin C like oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and tomatoes.
The great outdoors
It’s easy to hibernate indoors during the winter months, but getting outside every day is important for good health as your body needs sunlight to create vitamin D – essential for healthy teeth and bones. Even when the sun isn’t shining your body can still produce this from sunlight on your skin; getting out for a short walk everyday will keep your vitamin D levels topped up.
Protect from the elements
Winter weather combined with central heating can leave your skin feeling seriously lacklustre; don’t neglect your skin just because it’s easy to hide away under your winter woollies. Tackle dry flaky skin by first exfoliating away the dead skin cells and then applying a rich moisturiser. Although it might seem strange to be thinking about sun damage when it’s so cold outside, UV rays can still penetrate the skin on cloudy days so use a moisturiser with a built-in SPF to protect your skin and keep wrinkles at bay.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you should abandon your exercise regime - wrap up warm for a brisk walk or try fun winter activities like outdoor ice skating or skiing, the cold weather means your body will burn more kilojoules in an effort to keep warm. If venturing outside when it's windy, wet or snowing really doesn’t appeal don’t let the weather set you back, try a workout DVD or using a Wii games console to get fit at home.