With darker days and colder nights well and truly upon us, we need to ensure we are taking care of ourselves and creating daily rituals, to boost our immunity. Read on for our top 5 tips for Winter Wellness, that you can easily incorporate into your life.
1.) Get to sleep at the same time each night
Making sure your body has a chance to rest and recover from the day is important for your immune system to function at full strength.
Consistency is one of the most important elements in getting a quality night’s sleep. As with any habit, our bodies get used to a routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps your body create a routine that promotes better sleep.
Our top tip: Take advantage of the darker winter evenings by turning the TV off and hopping into bed a little earlier. We love using this extra time to journal, listen to a guided mediation or read a couple of pages of a good book.
2.) Increase hydration levels
We tend to think summertime is the season we should be concerned about dehydration due to warmer temps. However, did you know it’s just as vital to maintain adequate hydration during those chilly winter days?
Not only does water help you stay hydrated, it also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs.
As the weather cools, we find ourselves wrapping up in more layers and turning on the heaters. This artificially warm environment is coupled with the dry air of artificial heating which leads to winter dehydration. You may not have realised that you haven’t drunk any water during the day, particularly as your body’s thirst response significantly diminishes in cooler weather. However, dehydration can cause significant impacts to your well-being.
Remember that both caffeine and alcohol can make your body even more dehydrated. Limiting your intake of these beverages can help keep that needed hydration in your system where it belongs.
Our top tip: Increase hydration through warmer drinks - like refreshing herbal teas or infusions. We love using a good squeeze of lemon in hot water with freshly sliced ginger and turmeric root and a dollop of honey first thing in the morning - not only does it aid digestion, the ingredients are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which strengthen the immune system.
3.) Eat seasonally
Nature sure knows best. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables provides the body with the nutrition it needs. Winter brings a variety of citrus, high in Vitamin C which supports the body to fight coughs and colds. Winter vegetables are perfect for making warm and nourishing meals like soups, stews and casseroles.
Eating seasonally not only means that fruits and vegetables are cheaper, but you're also supporting the body's nutritional needs for each season. They also taste better and have a higher nutritional value due to lease storage and shorter times from harvest to consumption.
Some of our favourite winter New Zealand vegetables to eat during the cooler months are: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kumara, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Silverbeet, Spinach, and Sprouted Beans and Seeds.
Our Top Tip: Aim to sneak in vegetables to each meal. Whether it's spinach or silverbeet in your morning smoothie, carrots and celery with hummus for lunch or combining hearty root vegetables to make a warming soup. Winter is a great time to get creative and try new recipes. We're loving this nourishing Mushroom and Brown Rice Broth Bowl which makes a fantastic easy mid-week meal.
4.) Get out in nature
As tempting as it can be to hibernate with Netflix and treats over winter, take advantage of the natural daylight to support a healthy immune system and manage your mood. Taking a walk in the sunlight will not only help raise your vitamin D levels but will also allow you to breathe new bacteria into your microbiome. The great news here is that the more diverse your microbiome is, the healthier it tends to be. In fact, studies show that spending time outdoors relaxes your nervous system, leaving you less likely to over-think or worry.
Our top tip: Schedule in time in nature in advance, if you're anything like us the thought of getting out into the wind and the cold, is enough to put anyone off - but once you're out there - it's amazing. Start small and dress prepared - there's nothing worse than cold ears!
5.) Maintain regular handwashing
The best preventative measure to keep yourself and your family healthy during the cooler months, is frequent hand-washing. Make sure you're washing for at least 20 seconds, with both soap and water, or if you're not able to, by using Hand Sanitiser.
Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
So remember to keep surfaces like your cell-phone and common shared surfaces in your home such as door handles and light switches, regularly clean too.
Our top tip: Our Santosa Foaming Handwash range is ideal for frequent hand washing, as the nourishing ingredients help to retain the skin's natural oils. Our Hand and Surface Santiser is an excellent choice when you're out and about - our unique quick drying formula ensures that there is no sticky residue. We also suggest regularly using it on your cellphone, light switches and door handles in your home.
We hope that you find some of these tips helpful and are able to include some into your daily rituals, with ease.
We'd love to hear how you get on.
Katie and the Santosa team X