Do you find sticking to those healthy habits become that little bit tougher during the colder months? Is hitting that snooze alarm and ditching your morning walk becoming the norm? Are you reaching for those carby comfort foods more? Never fear… we are here with our top tips on how to keep to those health goals as the temperature drops.
Up your vitamin C naturally
Vitamins are so widely discussed when it comes to keeping fighting fit during the winter months. Vitamin C in particular is often the star of the show. Of course, taking supplements can be great, but there are such a wide variety of delicious foods that are packed full of this powerful vitamin. Some of our favourites include oranges, kiwi fruit, broccoli, and capsicum. Oranges are widely considered the ‘vitamin C‘ go-to food packed with 52.3mg of vitamin C per 100g. But in fact, oranges contain one of the lowest amounts among fruits and vegetables. Broccoli contains 106mg of vitamin C per 100g, kiwi fruit 85mg per 100g, and red capsicum 172mg per 100g. It has long been thought that increasing your vitamin C levels works to prevent colds and flus from turning up in the first place. In fact, this hasn’t been particularly proven. Instead, it can possibly decrease the duration and the severity of symptoms. Vitamin C does also stimulate the activity of white blood cells, which works in the protection of the immune system ongoing.
Teas are not only warm and delicious, keeping your cold fingers toasty whilst at your desk or out on a walk, but many herbal teas are also great in aiding the boosting of your immunity. This includes turmeric tea, ginger tea, lemongrass tea, green tea and peppermint tea, just to name a few of our favourites! Teas are also a wonderful way to keep your water intake up during the cooler months. You may notice you are not drinking nearly as much water in winter due to your body losing less through sweat, and because simply sculling glasses of cold water can definitely be that bit trickier, so making it a top priority to keep hydrated is so important. And tea is such a great way to help do that.
Stews. Casseroles. Soups. Roasts. We are salivating at the thought! There are so many delightfully warm and filling meals that you can very easily keep on the lower calorie side that just scream winter. Whip out the slow cooker and fill it with beautiful nutritious vegetables, your favourite protein and plenty of delicious herbs and spices, saving you time and preparing delicious meals to be ready after a long day. Similarly, cook up beautiful, wholesome soups. Whether it is a hearty chicken and vegetable or a gorgeous pumpkin soup, pair it with a crusty roll and you are sorted. If you are stuck for time and need a quick, no fuss lunch, there are plenty of healthy, affordable soups available in the supermarket to keep ready in the fridge or cupboard. Hot chocolate is also a go-to winter warmer to keep ready for a sweet hit.
Up your steps
Even though the cold is here, winter often brings beautiful sun-filled days, the perfect reason to get outside and warm yourself up by getting those steps in. It is the ultimate social way to exercise, and the perfect way to boost your Vitamin D levels, which can so easily drop in winter. The sun may be gone by 5 pm, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get that all-important fresh air. Get out in the morning, or take full advantage of your lunch break! In fact, studies show that exercise improves the many crucial cognitive functions we use at work like attention, working memory and problem solving, and it instantly improves our mood. So, go on. Get outside and get those feet moving!
Keep your big why your priority
Consistency is key. To keep it short and sweet, keep on going! Keep up your nutritious food and your workout routine each week, whether in lockdown or not! Workout at home with our online health hub, or head down to the gym to smash out a great session. Use winter as your time to focus on your goals for the remainder of the year and beyond, so that by the time the warmer months come along you feel energised, healthy and proud of your results. Create yourself a vision board, physically write down your goals and the habits you need to create to get there. Plus, always set yourself time to prep and plan your food for the week to stay on track and to stay motivated.