Total Health

Top tips to stay well this winter

May 28th, 2021 by
Category: Dr. Kodie Smith Health & Wellbeing

Overhead shot of woman holding a cup of tea

Just as quick as Christmas has come and gone, the chilly winter season is upon us again. For about three months of the year, we put away the thongs and swimsuits, and throw on our thermals, beanies and scarves to rug up for the cold weather ahead. This time of year is also the peak of our cold and flu season. This is because viruses and bacteria live longer and thrive in colder temperatures and in low humidity, as well as transmit at much faster rates. Experts have also explained that as we spend more time indoors and in confined spaces together during these cold months, there is less fresh air and more prolonged face to face contact – meaning greater exposure to unwell people and these viruses/bacteria.

People more at risk

There are certain people who are more at risk of becoming unwell during winter due to their immune and nervous system not functioning at 100%, or because they are working extra hard compared to others. People more at risk include:

  • Adults 65+
  • Babies and children under five years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People with long term health conditions
  • People with mental health conditions

A Chiropractor’s top tips to stay well this winter

There are a lot of weird and wonderful tips and tricks out there on how to stay healthy and at your best during winter – sometimes it can get confusing on which advice is the best to follow! To save you all the drama of sorting through endless advice, today I am simplifying it for you and sharing five easy, simple things you can do this winter to help stay healthy and happy.

1. Stay active

Regular exercise in general is a great way to help maintain good physical and mental health, but during the winter months it also has the added benefit of boosting your immune system. It is recommended that you try and aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day – this can be a combination of strength, endurance and cardio. To double the benefits, head outside for some of your physical activity to also get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D isf essential for bone health and plays a strong role in fighting off cold and flu.

2. Eat nutrient-rich food

The colder months have an impact on our body’s metabolic system and energy levels. Therefore, it’s extremely  important to provide our bodies with nutrient-rich foods that will fuel our system for the days ahead. Supplying our bodies with essential carbohydrates, vitamins (like vitamin B, C and D), fats and proteins will boost your immune system and energy levels during the winter months. I recommend eating more of the following throughout winter –

  • Soups and broths – helps to warm your body from the inside and allows for quick absorption of essential vitamins and minerals
  • Broccoli and cauliflower – rich in vitamin C which is an immune system booster
  • Garlic – great for seasoning, but also has been shown to help combat flu symptoms

3. Stay warm

Sounds super simple, but keeping warm during winter is essential to maintaining good health and avoiding those pesky colds. Health experts recommend keeping your bedroom around 18 degrees throughout the night (16-20 degrees for babies’ rooms) as this will ensure your body is able to get a deep, peaceful night’s rest. You can also help maintain heat within your house by closing curtains at night and keeping doors closed to block out cold draughts. In terms of your food intake, make it a priority to have a minimum of one hot meal per day to help warm your body from the inside out.

4. Stay hydrated

Especially during winter, we tend to reach  more for those delicious hot drinks like coffee and tea. These are great occasionally as they will help to warm your insides, but it’s important to remember to continue drinking plenty of water during the cooler months. Hydration will help regulate your body temperature, flush out toxins and improve your overall organ and muscle function.

5. Keep connected

During colder months we tend to become like bears and hibernate for the winter. Studies have shown that extreme weather changes – especially during winter – can have a huge negative impact on our mental health; increasing anxiety and depression as we tend to isolate and stay indoors. This phenomenon is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it regularly affects approximately 7% of the population. To combat these mental effects, the following ideas are recommended:

  • Making small plans like going for a coffee with friends or arranging family dinners once a week (or even once a month)
  • Utilise technology like Zoom and Facetime to call friends and family, especially those who are a fair distance away, to improve mood, boost oxytocin and stay connected

Don’t let the winter blues get you this winter. Try some of these simple tips to stay healthy and happy during the colder months! 


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