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How to stay healthy during the chilly and dark winter months

Winter is coming! Stay healthy during the cold winter months with helpful tips from iMD. This article was written in partnership with The Georgia Straight. For information on other illnesses and ailments, visit the Health Kiosk on the Straight’s website.

How to stay healthy during the chilly and dark winter months

Well, it’s that time of the year again—flu season served with a side of dreary wet days that leave you feeling chilled to the bone. It’s already hard to get out of the bed in the morning so there’s really no need to add getting sick to the mix.

So far 2020 has been full of difficulties but, quite possibly, the greatest challenge is upon us. We need to stay healthy in order to sidestep both the seasonal flu and COVID-19.

iMD Health understands the severity of the situation, which is why it’s offering some helpful tips to keep you feeling up to speed and happy during the upcoming winter months.

1. Maintain a healthy diet

Eating the rainbow is a concept that everyone should become familiar with. And we’re not talking about gobbling jujubes here.

Incorporating different coloured fruits and vegetables into every meal is a great way to get the nutrients that your body needs. Avoid consuming an abundance of beige carbohydrates as they tend to be high in calories and contain minimal nutrients.

Additionally, steer clear of highly processed foods that are high in sodium, sugars, and saturated fats.

If you’re unable to get enough of the essential nutrients from your meals, consider starting a supplement regimen. According to iMD Health, the key vitamins required for optimal health are vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.

For more information on maintaining a healthy diet, click here.

2. Stay hydrated

As mentioned on iMD Health’s Dehydration page, if you’re experiencing dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and have dark-coloured urine, you’re not drinking enough water. For the body to effectively carry out its vital functions like digestion and regulating temperature, one needs to stay hydrated. This means drinking nine to 12 cups of water a day.

For those who can’t stand drinking normal tap water, consider investing in a SodaStream or add fresh fruit like berries, lemon, or oranges for some flavour. During the cold winter months, stay warm and hydrated by sipping on some delicious spiced apple, cinnamon vanilla, or holiday chai tea. 

3. Exercise indoors

Due to the pandemic, many people are wary of returning to their usual gym or fitness studio. But it’s key to stay active through the winter as exercise can help combat the winter blues (seasonal depression) and prevent any holiday weight gain.

As mentioned on iMD Health’s platform, regular exercise can help control weight, combat health conditions, improve mood, boost energy and libido, improve sleep, and sharpen memory. All you have to do is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, combined with two strength training workouts.

If you’re feeling rather unmotivated, visit this page on iMD Health’s website.

4. Prioritize your mental health

Of all the suggestions, this one is by far the most important. If you struggle with anxiety and depression, you already know that these feelings can worsen over the holidays. Less daylight and financial stress from Christmas shopping combined with pandemic-related anxiety is an unpleasant mix.

To keep your spirits high for the winter, try practising yoga or meditation, replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and learn how to better cope with stress. iMD Health’s website has plenty of suggestions that can help you manage stress.

Visit the on Healthy Lifestyle Advice page for visual infographics and additional valuable resources.