Tips to Keep You Healthy & Happy Through the Cold Winter Months
During the cold weather months, it can be a bit more challenging to stay motivated and on track with your goals. However, it’s just as important to keep up with your healthy habits during the winter! Here are a few tips from the Hockey Fans in Training team to keep you healthy and happy during the cold winter months.
Nourish your body with immune boosting foods
Dietitians of Canada recommends a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, protein foods and whole grains is important for a strong immune system as are other healthy lifestyle habits (e.g exercise, not smoking, adequate sleep, managing stress, etc). You can find more information on nutrition and healthy eating at UnlockFood.ca, the Government of Canada’s webpage on Healthy Eating during the COVID-19 Pandemic, or by visiting Canada’s Food Guide.
Get active outdoors
Not only will getting active outdoors boost your Vitamin D, but the cold weather may also challenge your cardiovascular fitness more than an indoor workout. During an outdoor winter workout, your body must work harder to regulate its core temperature and distribute blood throughout the body. Try something new this season such as, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, or hiking. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym to hit your activity goals!
Take time to focus on your mental health
The winter months can be challenging with shorter daylight hours and colder weather. It’s important to check in on your mental health and wellbeing every day. Try to incorporate a mindfulness check into your everyday routine. This could be a 5-minute meditation, a few moments of deep breathing each morning, or a quiet mindful walk outdoors. During this time, check in with yourself & notice how you are feeling (both your body and mind). Even if it’s just a few minutes of silence as you sip your coffee or tea, turning the world off for a moment to disconnect can make a huge difference in your day.
It’s much easier to recognize when you’re thirsty during the hot summer months. However, hydration is important year-round! Fluids are essential for many of your body’s systems such as moving nutrients and waste through your body, maintaining normal blood pressure, & controlling your body temperature. Learn more about the benefits of hydration here: https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/articles/water/facts-on-fluids-how-to-stay-hydrated.aspx
During this time of the year and during the pandemic, it is important to maintain social connections! Try facetiming a family member, do a workout on Zoom with a friend, plan a virtual game night, challenge a pal to a brain game on your Smart Phone, or schedule an outdoor hike. Regular communication and interaction with friends and family can have a significant impact on your overall mood and mental health. Check out this article to learn more about the importance of social connection: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/feeling-it/202003/social-connection-boosts-health-even-when-youre-isolated