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These winter wellness tips will help you feel your best this holiday season and all winter long!
The holidays are upon us, winter is finally arriving, and with the change in the weather comes some important factors to keep in mind in order to feel our best as the days get shorter and nights get colder. I know that for many people, the holidays and entire winter season can be stressful, tiring, and can lead to downright not-so-optimal eating habits. Fewer daytime hours of sunlight can also lead to disrupted sleep patterns where many of us don’t get the rest that we all desperately need or don’t get enough time outdoors in fresh air.
I’ll be honest; stress is very hard on my body this time of year for many reasons, so I can personally vouch for the importance of being mindful of my health this time of year more so than others. I make it a point to monitor my sleep, be sure to eat a balanced diet rich in plant foods high in nutrients, stay active and get fresh air each day, and also make sure that I manage my stress appropriately. Otherwise, I can easily come undone. I’m sure many of you can relate in some ways.
So I thought it would be helpful to do a short post on some simple tips we can all be mindful of in order to feel our best this holiday season by taking extra good care of ourselves. Sometimes simple tips and reminders are all we need in order to get back on track. Because it’s hard to be excited about the “merriest time of the year” when you feel downright crummy, right? Right.
Let’s jump in!
1. Be Sure to Eat Enough Produce Rich in Vitamin C
I don’t need to be nutritionist in order to tell anyone the importance of eating their fruits and veggies; we all know it, but it’s still a very easy tip to overlook. Eating fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies during the winter season is one of the simplest ways to support our health and immune system all by being mindful of what we put on our plates each day.
Fruits are especially high in vitamin C which is a powerhouse antioxidant for the body, not to mention they help quell our sweet tooth naturally to help prevent us from wanting to overload on sugary holiday treats. Fruits are also rich in fiber as we all know which is great for the health on a number of levels.
Lucky for us, many citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits are in season during the winter months and are great sources of vitamin C. Strawberries, apples, pears, mangoes, pineapple, and other types of berries are also great to eat to be sure to take in ample amounts of vitamin C. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach are also great sources of vitamin C.
Try to consume as many servings of fruits and vegetables into your day as you can whether they’re fresh or frozen. Sneak them in soups, stews, smoothies, salads, stir-fries, and any other way you can. I actually like to just eat frozen fruit right out of the freezer if I don’t have fresh fruit on hand and when I make soup, I at least include 5 types of veggies if possible, whether fresh or frozen. Plus, you can even freeze fresh fruits and veggies in little baggies before they go bad and just use them up in smoothies or soups so they don’t go to waste.
Eating more vitamin C-rich produce is one of the simplest tips of the trade for feeling your best all year long and especially this time of year. Eat up!
2. Get Fresh Air Daily
This tip is important for our minds and our bodies and one that I have to stay on top of myself. Fresh air is great for the brain since it gives us a sense of renewal and exposure to sunlight which can lift our spirits a bit. It’s true that it can be hard to get enough fresh air during the coldest months of the year, but even just a few minutes of chilly winter air counts and is great for us in small doses (Just bundle up first!).
I struggle with this tip a good bit since I work from home and have to be extra mindful to get fresh air even when it’s cold out. Days can pass before I realize that I need to take a short walk outside instead of inside on the treadmill. Or, maybe I’ll run make it a point to run some errands during the day and take the dog for a quick spin around the block when I get home. Anything to keep me exposed to fresh air is something I make a priority because I know it’s good for my brain and body.
Join me and try to step outside for just a few minutes in increments throughout the day however possible, especially if you work from home as I do or are indoors most of the day otherwise. It gets easier with practice!
3. Mind Your Vitamin D
Here’s a tip some of you may have heard before and one worth repeating. Vitamin D is an important nutrient to be mindful of all year round but especially during the winter months when sunlight isn’t as abundant during the day. While some foods do contain vitamin D, supplementation may also be something to consider as well.
Here are three important things to know about vitamin D:
1. Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin when we’re exposed to sunlight during certain times of the day and year, and it can also be found in a limited number of natural and fortified foods sources.
2. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and supports bone, teeth, muscle and immune system health.†
3. Vitamin D3 – found in Nature Made vitamin D supplements – is the body’s preferred form of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in the body.†
My family enjoys taking Nature Made® Vitamin D products because we can find them locally at Walmart and because we trust the Nature Made® brand and have purchased several of their products for years.
Nature Made® Vitamin D products are USP verified for purity and potency. ‡
- ‡Find those Nature Made USP Verified products on NatureMade.com/USP.
Nature Made® offers several levels of Vitamin D at Walmart, including Nature Made® Vitamin D3 2000 IU Tablet and Nature Made® Vitamin D3 5000 IU Softgel. The 5000 IU high dose product is intended for those deficient in Vitamin D as determined and recommended by their physician.
Nature Made® products can be found on the vitamin and supplement aisle at Walmart in the health and beauty section and are sold in single and double packs, so choose whichever one suits you and your needs if you decide to check them out.
As mentioned above, it’s important to step outside during the day to be exposed to natural vitamin D from sunlight, but because of shorter hours of sunlight each day, supplements may also be something to consider as well. So, speak with a physician you trust in order to make the best decision for you and your health regarding vitamin D supplementation, and when in doubt, get your levels tested if you’re not sure where you stand.
4. Stay Hydrated With Water, Tea, Smoothies, and/or Broth-Based Soups
We all know that drinking enough water is important, however, what many people (myself included) forget is how easy it is to take in plenty of water in other ways too. For instance, drinking fruit-infused waters, fruit-infused herbal teas, smoothies, and broth-based soups are great ways to take in more water to stay hydrated. Caffeine and excessive sodium in foods and drinks can lead to dehydration in the body due to fluid loss and electrolyte imbalances, so be sure to balance this out appropriately with plenty of water-rich foods, fresh foods, and water-based beverages.
I make sure I keep my sodium levels down in the foods I eat (which is easy to do when focusing on whole foods), and I limit my coffee intake by opting for warm teas such as herbal teas. I also love to use herbs, spices, and citrus fruits like lemon to flavor my meals instead of using salt or highly processed condiments to make them tastier.
Staying hydrated maintains electrolyte balance in the body, helps flush wastes from the body, and helps your body perform the functions it needs in order for you to feel your best. So when in doubt, drink some water with lemon before you head for a sugary soda, an extra cup of coffee, or an energy drink. Sometimes, your body might just need a sip of H20!
5. Get Daily Activity (Exercise and/or Gentle Movement Activities)
I’ve said it time and time again but I promise that movement can do so many awesome things for the body and brain. I make sure to get a walk in each day and am adamant about doing a little yoga even on days that I don’t want to, although most days I’m dying to hit the mat and get flowing. My body and brain feel so much better when I keep my system moving and get my lymph fluids flowing as they’re meant to do.
Staying active this time of year is also important for our minds. Because it can be easy to sit around all day long because the shorter days and longer nights make us want to curl up on the couch and do absolutely nothing whenever we get the chance. So make it a point to get moving; it’s great for your body, brain, and can help prevent many unnecessary unhealthy habits from developing in the process. I always recommend aiming for 30 minutes a day of consistent movement to start with and then graduating from there until you find your happy time amount that works for you.
I hope some of these tips and insight were helpful to all of you or perhaps generated some ideas that may work for you and your schedule as we all edge on into the chillier months. If you have a tip to share as well, please do!
What do you do to feel your best during the holiday season?
Feel free to also check out Nature Made over at Facebook, and be sure to look for their products at Walmart, including Nature Made® Vitamin D3 2000 IU Tablets, next time you go. Take care of yourselves this holiday season and all winter long!
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.