Getting Through Winter With a Spring in Your Step
By Dr. Molly Casey
Winter habits for health are super important if you’re looking to continue to support your overall well-being or kick-start it into gear.
One of the major hurdles to starting or keeping health habits going during the winter is the season itself. Recognize the truth and purpose of the season; it’s about resting and going inward. Winter is a down time. The cycle of the body follows the cycle of the earth. We live on, and are products of, the earth. Environment plays a role in health, a large role. So if you’re looking for better health, work with the environment instead of against it.
Here’s what you need to know to emerge from the cruelest season in great shape for spring.
As usual, the basics always apply here -- first, optimal nervous system functioning; second, proper water intake; third, quality sleep patterns and amounts.
Chiropractic restores ideal spinal range of motion and optimal nervous system functioning. Your nervous system is the communication highway within your body. The higher it functions, the more optimal level of health you have the opportunity to experience. The foundation of any optimal level of healthcare protocol is regular chiropractic adjustments.
Every cell in the body requires water. Folks sometimes move less in the winter. Water helps with lymphatic flow (waste system) along with providing for the basic functioning of the cell. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily, at a minimum; this practice is invaluable.
Sleep is also non-negotiable. If you’re seeking better health, get better quality sleep and enough of it. Try your best to keep your sleep routine as regular as possible, the same bedtime and rise time even throughout the weekend. If you’re desiring extra rest, add in a nap. During the winter, extra sleep and/or downtime is not a bad move, especially with how schedule-driven busy society is these days.
It’s easy in the cold weather and slower pace to totally ditch the movement and exercise. Weather can be an easy out. While extra rest and downtime is suggested, don’t ditch the movement. Consistency in moving your body is imperative for optimal health. If need be, you can change your exercise routine -- meaning if you enjoy skiing or snowshoeing, some of those activities can replace the time you spend in the gym. The pool is always a good warm exercise for the cool winter days. Just stick to your minimums; it’s harder to get outside and get going, but don’t let that to stop you.
Food changes with the seasons. However, travel and the ability to ship has changed exponentially over the years, so most folks have access to nearly all fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Tailor the majority of your food to the local in-season crops. For example, watermelon in Michigan in January would not be the wisest choice if eating local in-season food was your goal. A resident living in that region would have more vegetables that have a later grow season that extends into the fall, so they would rely on onions, mushrooms, and winter squash, for example.
Wintertime can be a tough time to initiate and maintain health goals. It is totally doable though. First, be intentional and commit to why you’re driven to fulfill the health goal. Second, get a plan and stick to it. Third, remember the basics -- chiropractic adjustments, water, and sleep. Don’t bag the exercise. Eat local in-season foods or as close to that as possible. Here’s to the healthiest you yet this winter!
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.