Now that winter is in full swing and temperatures are dropping and the nights are drawing in fast, so too are the number of people feeling the effects of the cold. It’s a time to be happy for many people, everywhere is all lit up and looking festive, the Christmas adverts are on the TV and the large majority of people are excited about the Christmas holidays. What people don’t want is to be holed up ill and miserable at this time of year, the only problem is this is the most likely time of the year for exactly that to happen.
It’s not just the common cold and the sniffles that are getting people down at this time of the year though. For a great deal of people the cold weather also makes them less active, deciding to curl up on the sofa with the heating on instead of going out for a run or a cycle. People also tend to eat stodgier foods as a means to comfort themselves when feeling the cold – it is believed that people put on an extra pound a month during winter, which is often difficult for most to shift.
If you want to keep the weight off over the winter then you really only have two options. The first being that you suck it up, put on a couple of extra layers and carry on your exercise no matter what the season throws at you. Secondly you can move indoors, getting your exercise fix at a gym or health club, the secret is to keep it short and intense to avoid boredom.
As mentioned previously, comforting eating tends to go into overdrive over the winter, with people feeling they need rich and heavy foods to keep them warm. This tied with a jump in social commitments in the calendar it will tough to avoid excess calories over the coming months. Comforting food doesn’t need to be unhealthy though; casseroles, stews and soups all provide that warming feeling without being laden with fat and sugars.
Colds, sniffles and joint pains are feelings we don’t ever really want to feel, however they are most likely to rear their ugly head in the winter months. The best way to avoid them is to maintain a certain level of activity to keep your immune system up as well as making sure you’re eating the right things. If you do start to feel under the weather it is important to start topping yourself up with cold remedies in order to combat them as effectively as possible. Good hygiene is also key to help stop the spreading of disease, washing your hands regularly and before and after eating and trips to the toilet.
Gareth writes on a number of health and wellness topics on behalf of health insurance provider AXA PPP healthcare.