Well-being in Winter: Eat well, sleep well, feel well
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare offers some tips on how to live your best life.
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare shares advice about how to keep your health and well-being in check during the winter.
Healthy eating is key to a healthy life.
Boost your immunity by consuming well-balanced, healthy meals (including a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables per day) to enrich your body with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that nourish the immune system.
Also, stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of fluid, primarily water.
Hydration is always important, but during winter, perhaps a cold glass of water is the last thing on your mind. Try room temperature or hot water with lemon instead, or herbal tea.
Also add water-rich fruits to your diet, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes. Soups and broths work, too.
Get your vitamins
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium — an important ingredient of healthy bones and also needed for nerve, muscle, and immune systems. A lack of vitamin D can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis or rickets.
The body forms vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight, so when the weather is cooler and sunny, spend some time outdoors.
Egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver are also good sources of vitamin D, and some other foods, such as milk and cereal, often have vitamin D added.
Supplements are also available. Check with your health care provider to see how much you should take.
Live longer and feel better
Regular exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. People who are active live longer and feel better.
Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, delaying or preventing diabetes, some cancers, and heart problems. Most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Examples include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, or bicycling. Stretching and weight training can also strengthen your body and improve fitness.
The key is to find the right exercise for you.
If it’s fun, you’re more likely to stay motivated. Perhaps walk with a friend, join a class, or plan a group bike ride. If you’ve been inactive for a while, adopt a sensible approach and start slowly.
Improve your sleep
Sleep restores energy — allowing the body to rest — and is necessary for good health and well-being. A good night’s sleep can help repair a damaged heart and blood vessels.
Insufficient sleep can lead to increased risks of heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and strokes.
Adults should strive for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
To help sleep quality, take time to relax before bed. Try herbal tea or hot milk, aromatherapy, meditation, or prayers. Maintain regular sleep hours — go to bed and get up at roughly the same time each day — and cut down on caffeine, especially in the evening.
Ditch bad habits
If you smoke, work on quitting!
When a person quits smoking, the body tends to recover and repair some of the damage. For example, within three months of quitting, lung function improves by around 30%. After one year, the risk of heart problems halves compared with someone who continues to smoke.
Take care of your skin
During the winter, the cold weather can dry your skin. Moisturize skin and lips, wear sun screen, and drink fluids.