The cold winter months are just around the corner, and during these months, it’s easy to get listless and simply binge your favorite shows. However, cold temperatures can affect your body in different ways, and that’s why you need to keep yourself healthy even during the cold months. One of the things you can do is sleep right, hydrate, wash your hands, eat vegetables, and stay active.
How The Winter Months Can Affect Your Body
The cold temperatures can affect our bodies unexpectedly. If you don’t watch out, you may experience some of these effects. We will discuss these effects and then show you how you can deal with these effects.
It’s common knowledge that your chances of getting sick increase when the weather is cold. But why is that?
The most prevalent reason that adults and children miss work or school is because of colds. CDC frequently monitors the patterns of the common cold, and they’ve found out that colds are most frequent during the winter months. Our noses frequently secret mucus, but because of cold temperatures, the mucus clearance slows down. That mucus is our first line of defense against viruses, and its job is to trap those viruses in our snots.
However, now that the mucus’s effects have dwindled, your body’s immune system will need to fight harder to keep off unwanted sicknesses. Likewise, our specialized immune cells, Phagocytes, also decrease their activities when the temperature is cold. Our bodies become more vulnerable to all sorts of viruses.
Cold Increases Blood Pressure And Risks Of Heart Attacks
Recent studies have shown that our blood vessels narrow in cold temperatures, leading to some experiencing a sudden spike in their blood pressure. The cold temperatures not only increase blood pressure but also increase the risks of heart attacks. Our bodies have different mechanisms to adapt themselves from the cold. Part of these mechanisms involves constricting tiny blood vessels in parts of your fingers and toes to keep the body heat inside.
However, the downside of constricting the blood vessels is that the heart needs to work harder to pump blood. A healthy individual should have no problem with the heart pumping harder, but those with pre-existing heart conditions may encounter issues with their hearts.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mental health problem during the summer and winter months. Those who experience SAD may experience low energy, hypersomnia, weight gain, craving for carbohydrates, overeating, and social withdrawal during winter. Recent research has shown that low serotonin levels and high melatonin levels make you feel less happy and more sleepy during the winter months.
Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes feelings of well beings, moods, and happiness. Melatonin is a hormone that your brain creates as a response to light or darkness. Melatonin is responsible for helping maintain our body’s circadian rhythm. Fewer daylight hours disrupt melatonin production, causing you to make more melatonin, making you sleepier.
Top 5 Things You Can Do To Stay Healthy This Winter
Fortunately, these winter effects are fixable and avoidable. To keep yourself healthy for the upcoming winter, here are five things you can do right now.
Once the winter months set in, it’s natural that you will feel listless and frequently drowsy. Unfortunately, we are not bears that we can go into hibernation. Often entertaining your drowsiness by sleep isn’t healthy for the human body. When you sleep too much, chances are, you will feel even more sluggish during the day. No matter the season, our bodies do not need more or less sleep. The amount of sleep our bodies need is a full eight hours, and it won’t change despite the seasons.
Aim for 8 hours every night, and rise and go to bed simultaneously every day.
Dehydration is often associated with the summer months. However, dehydration can be as frequent during the winter months too. During winter, most people experience less thirst when it’s old. We don’t sweat as much, and our bodies are cold, so we might not need water to cool ourselves. However, the body still loses moisture in cold weather.
Regardless of the temperature outside, our body will lose water without urinating. Minor dehydration can cause bad moods, poor memory, and difficulty in concentration. So make sure to remember to drink water to keep both mind and body functioning well.
Frequently Washing Your Hands
When it’s cold, we would want to bundle ourselves and relax near a fireplace. While bundling ourselves does help warm up ourselves, it doesn’t contribute to avoiding the spread of viruses.
As mentioned earlier, sicknesses are prevalent during the winter months since our immune systems are less active. Likewise, the mucus on our noses isn’t as busy. To keep ourselves safe, especially with COVID 19 still prevalent, make it a habit to wash your hands.
Realize that most of us frequently touch our eyes, noses, and mouths using our hands. Keep yourselves safe by washing your hands and avoiding infecting your body.
Consider Keep Up On Those Veggies
Before civilization, our ancestors needed to fatten themselves up before or during winter to survive. Fat helps keep the body warm, and it also acts as food storage since food is scarce during the winter months. Their bodies give a signal that it’s time to fatten up to increase the chances of survival during winter. Unfortunately, that same signal is still present to this day. On average, people eat more during the winter months than in any other season. It’s not just because of festivities but also because of cravings as well.
On top of that, some develop a SAD disorder, making them crave carbohydrates. Trying to combat these cravings is challenging, so fulfill these cravings with veggies instead. Research has proven again and again that eating vegetables makes us feel fuller than eating carbohydrates. Likewise, vegetables don’t make you gain weight, so there’s that.
It’s so easy to skip your exercise routines during the winter months, especially when it’s freezing outside. Outdoors exercise is good for the mind and body no matter the season. If you feel depressive during the winter months, a good exercise routine should uplift you. Studies have shown that exercise improves mood. Even if you have a SAD disorder during the winter months, exercise should ward off those bad moods away.
Exercise also burns calories. If you are currently succumbing to your cravings, an active lifestyle should burn those calories you’ve gained from eating.
Winter can do a lot of things to your body if you aren’t careful. So have enough sleep, keep yourselves hydrated, frequent hand washing, keep up on those veggies, and stay active. Here at my website, I offer services that will ensure that you stay healthy and strong. So feel free to contact us today!