As a particular season slowly rolls away, we become apprehensive of the incoming season change with its concomitant headaches, digestive problems, irregularities in the menstrual cycle for women, insomnia, irritability, poor health, and so much more. Others include fatigue of the body evident when a seasonal change from summer to autumn occurs. Further, these changes in temperature and daylight that comes with colder months can make it difficult to maintain our routines of going outside and exercising.
It is important however that through these seasons, we maintain a healthy lifestyle which could mean, a call for a change in routine, a revamped diet, or a new exercise regime that suits the weather.
Over the years as a Physician, I have studied these patterns and have also treated thousands of patients. I have also come up with five time-tested tips that will help you stay healthy by preparing you to take on common illnesses that spread throughout the changing seasons:
1. Eat Seasonal Foods
Proper nutrition is essential all year, but consider mixing things up by cooking with locally grown seasonal foods. These foods can help your immune system and digestion, among other things. Vitamin C, A, and folate all help to strengthen your immune system. Also, include a variety of fruits and vegetables on your plates such as citrus, red bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, and kiwis, to boost your immune system.
2. Stay Hydrated
Radiators and fireplaces can produce dry, itchy, or injured skin during the winter months. Use moisturizers, humidifiers, and clothing that wicks away moisture to fix this. Additionally, don’t scrimp on water! Maintaining a sufficient intake of water will help fight skin issues and dehydration throughout the winter months when the air is drier. You can do this by purchasing a reusable 16 oz water bottle and drinking the water four times a day. This will enable you to keep track of your water intake.
3. Consider Flu and Pneumonia Vaccination
According to scientists, colder temperatures favor the growth of cold and flu viruses. Unfortunately, this makes people more prone to disease during the fall and winter months. For this reason, you must make sure that all your vaccinations are up-to-date. 4. Exercise regularly to Boost Body Metabolism
Most people tend to gain weight as a consequence of seasonal changes. Like most mammals, humans store fat during the winter months. Scientifically, this is due to the fact that during seasonal changes, between late summer and early fall, our bodies increase their insulin resistance. This invariably causes the liver to increase fat production so that we can store fat in our tissues and be better prepared for the winter. The best way to combat this build-up of fat is through diet and aerobic exercise like swimming and running. These stimulate metabolism and help burn calories.
5. Spend Time Outdoors
During autumn, the days are shorter, and the temperature and rain, are lower. The state of our body is affected by the progressive reduction of the hours of light, a change that also impacts our mood, making us susceptible to mild states of melancholy and anxiety. Therefore, the influence of the sun is very paramount because UV rays from the sun stimulate the production of Vitamin D, essential to bones and able to reduce the incidence of cancer.
Sunlight also stimulates the production of serotonin which helps muscle relaxation and regularizes biological rhythms. Due to these reasons, even when the days become shorter, it is important that you spend time outdoors. This also helps in hormonal balance and improves the quality of sleep.
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