4 Fixes for Winter Health Challenges
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Ah, winter! The season characterized by frigid temperatures, steaming mugs of hot cocoa, as well as holiday shopping and family gatherings. Oh, and let’s not forget, a wide assortment of winter health challenges from holiday weight gain to nutritional deficiencies. Here are four fixes for combating common winter health challenges.
Common Winter Health Challenges:
Dry, Cracked Hands
Cold, dry air can cause dry, cracked hands. That is why moisturizing is essential during winter. Some natural remedies for dry skin include coconut oil and sweet almond oil. There are several cruelty-free and vegan moisturizers available as well. Apply generously after baths/showers and before bed. Wear gloves anytime you’re planning to be outside. Applying moisturizer immediately after washing your hands is always wise.
Holiday Weight Gain
An influx of holiday parties and gatherings, complete with seasonal favorites, tend to tip the scales in a less than desirable direction for many. According to research, people gain about a pound during the holiday season, which extends from November to January. That extra pound tends to linger as well. Instead of depriving yourself of holiday treats, watch your portion size, practice mindful eating and maintain a consistent exercise routine to help avoid weight gain.
Vitamin D Deficiency
There is an Italian proverb that says: “Where the sun does not go, the doctor does.” This is especially accurate during the winter months. Reduced daylight hours and spending more time indoors can make it hard for our bodies to produce enough vitamin D, contributing to a deficiency. Vitamin D deficiencies have been associated with the changing of seasons.
Because vitamin D supports several important body functions, ensuring you’re meeting the Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended dietary allowances is crucial for staying healthy, both physically and psychologically. A natural form of vitamin D is vitamin D3. These supplements are easily absorbed by the body. Consult with your pharmacist or doctor before beginning any new dietary supplements.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
The American Psychological Association defines seasonal affective disorder, known simply as SAD, as a type of depression that lasts through the fall and winter months and goes away in the spring and summer. Hence, it’s nickname, the “winter blues.” While symptoms can vary, they generally include fatigue, withdrawal, and general sadness.
About five percent of U.S. adults experience SAD. It is thought to be associated with reduced levels of sunlight. One researcher has suggested a link between the disorder and brown eyes. Always consult a professional for appropriate treatment of seasonal affective disorder. You should also eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly.
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