Staying Healthy Even in the Darkest of Winter

 

 

Winter is HERE, with darker nights and cold weather… it can seem all daunting to stick with a  healthy diet and head to the gym. Maybe go for a early morning run! Sounds simple but  but many of us struggle with our diet and exercise when it’s cold, damp and dreary outside.  Sadness and depression are more common this time of year,  with many people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can make it hard to motivate yourself to get off the sofa or outta bed.Winter is also harsh on your skin and hair. Cold winds, icy temperatures and inside heat can really a  toll on your skin and hair, leaving them dry, dull and lifeless.  Here are some tips I find to be helpful to stay healthy during the countdown to warmer sunnier days!

#1. Stay hydrated

We all  know that being hydrated is essential for our bodies, our bodies are up to 60% water!

Water not only helps us to digest food and flush out our bodies, it’s also vital to ensure our skin stays soft and smooth. Our inside heat source and hot water in the winter months can really dehydrate the skin, you may  find it much easier to guzzle  glasses of water and smoothies during the summer months, most of us drink a little less than we should when winter rolls through. Tea, coffee, fruit, smoothies and even a mug of hot water with lemon all count.  My favorite is green tea or my spinach smoothie to detox.  Staying hydrated helps to prevent dry, flaky skin irritation, so your skin will be glowing all winter long.  My spinach smoothie you ask???  Super simple: 2 cups of raw spinach , one apple, one stalk of celery and a hit of honey all thrown in a blender… YUM!

#2. Scrub a dob!

Facial scrubs are perfect  to use all year round to exfoliate, removing dead skin cells and leaving your complexion looking brighter. During the winter months, when your skin may be drier and flakier than usual, using a gentle scrub once or twice a week will help keep skin healthy. Make your own at home using olive oil, brown sugar and some honey for a gentle yet effective face and body scrub.

#3.  SPF!

When it’s grey and cold outside, its STILL a most of to wear  facial lotion  that contains SPF.  There are still damaging UV rays present, even on wintry, overcast days. Don’t forget to wear a lip balm with SPF too if you’re going to be outside,  the  best to choice is a natural moisturizer with SPF that have few additives. I apply before my run as I head out early, after my shower and with my facial foundation.

 

#4. Enjoy a “cooler” shower

Its always  tempting to crank up the heat when taking a shower on icy days, but try to  stick to cool or lukewarm water instead, this really protects your skin. Taking long, hot showers can strip moisture from your skin and hair and can add to  a  flaky scalp. Turn the down the temperaturea notch and stick to a 10-minute shower; I know , I know.. so hard on these cold days and nights… this is the hardest rule for me to keep (or even do).

 

#5. Get your vitamins

We know the importance of a  diet packed with fruit and veggies  during the winter months. It’s  most important than ever to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C. Not only does this support your immune system but it also helps boost collagen production, helping your skin stay plump and healthy. Make sure you are getting  plenty of dark, leafy greens and citrus fruits, which are a great source of Vitamin C.

My favorite foods even during winter are: Salon, avocados, olive oil and tons of salad packed full of yummy healthy ingredients. These help to ensure my skin stays moisturized from within.

#6.  Treat your tresses (NICELY)

Whether you’re male or female, we could all benefit from shampooing our hair less. Look at your usual haircare routine, then reduce it slightly for the winter months – if you shampoo daily, cut back to every other day, so you don’t dry out your hair and scalp. Make sure you don’t skip conditioner, which not only de-tangles hair after your shower, but helps protect it against the elements. Comb out your hair in the shower with conditioner in it with help of a wide tooth comb or WET BRUSH. Ensure your hair is 50-60% dry before blow-drying, as blow-drying wet hair can cause breakage and make  dandruff worse!

 

#7. Protect your EYEBALLS!

Inside heating and cold wind can lead to dry, red, irritated eyes. Make sure you’re getting plenty vitamins in your diet –Vitamin C,D and E help keep your eyes healthy . Staying hydrated! Yes, again.. this helps prevent dry eyes.

 

#8. Keep active

Exercise can help to flush toxins from the body, promoting clearer, healthier skin  and get those  endorphins  pumping, which is always a mood booster!Plus the more active you are, the more likely you are to make healthy food choices… they usually go hand in hand. Staying active this winter is vital to ensure you stay healthy. You don’t have to go for your usual outdoor run though; Look for yoga class or work out routine to do in your home! There are tons of free videos that are fun online.

#9. Keep toes and fingers warm

Warm cozy socks and gloves are super-snuggly and can help to keep your toes and fingers warm which will prevent dry skin on your hands and cracked heels. Try adding rosemary to your cooking or taking gingko biloba supplements which can help to improve blood circulation, preventing cold hands and feet. Wearing gloves whenever you’re outside. Don’t forget socks even when wearing boots.. inside is a must also but please be careful on the stairs!

Hope any or all of these helps you stay healthy during these cold months of winter… The good news is: The days ARE getting longer bit by bit every day now!

Much love, health and happiness!!

Dawn Marie x0x0