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Your Guide to Winter Wellness in New England

February 06, 2019

You aren’t just imagining it; the winter blues are real. With shorter daylight hours, longer nights, and a drop in the temperature, it can be hard to adjust to the winter season even if you’re a New England native. If you are feeling less social and having difficulty sleeping or taking initiative, we have some tips to help you get through the season!

 

GET OUTSIDE

There are so many activities to take part in during winter, from ice skating, to building snow men, pond hockey, ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding and so much more. Getting outside and enjoying all the glorious things the season has to offer is a fun way to stay healthy. The outdoors can be an exciting alternative to the treadmill in your basement but remember to stay safe while doing so. Below are a few tips to help you manage the cold temperatures:

Dress in layers. Utilizing multiple thin, warm layers in favor of one or two thick ones offers better insulation and gives you the ability to shed layers if the temperature rises. 

Dress appropriately. The apparel that you need to stay comfortable while snowshoeing will likely be different than what you wear to watch your child’s outdoor hockey game.

Keep your extremities warm. You lose the most body heat from your hands, feet and head. Wearing heavy socks, gloves/mittens, and a hat helps trap heat and keep you warm.

 

EAT SMART

During the winter, it can be tempting to stop and get that piping hot coffee every morning to take the edge off the winter chill or curl up with a big bowl of processed soup at the end of the day. A good alternative to munching on all the appealing processed food winter time has to offer it to make a homemade soup or casserole! That may sound daunting, but there are so many delicious, simple slow cooker recipes available on the internet these days! On Sunday, make a big batch of slow cooker turkey chili, beef stew, or minestrone soup and have it for lunch throughout the week!

 

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin found in fruits and vegetables that supports your bones, skin, and immune system. The best way to get Vitamin C is through foods, but during the winter it doesn’t hurt to take a supplement to help boost your immune system function to help it fight off those pesky colds and the flu.

     Foods that have Vitamin C: apples, berries, broccoli, cauliflower, melons 

Vitamin D is produced by your body when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike your skin and is rarely found as a nutrient in food. During winter in New England, days are shorter, darker, and you are likely bundled up in a jacket, hat, mittens and a scarf! Although these items are completely necessary to survive the season, it leaves little opportunity for your skin to be exposed to the sunlight it so desperately needs.

     Foods that have Vitamin D: tuna, salmon, cheese, egg yolks

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When it is dark, melatonin increases and prepares your body for sleep – on the other hand, light decreases melatonin production and prepares your body to wake. During the winter the daylight hours are shorter, and the evening hours are longer, potentially causing problems for your sleep wake cycle. If you are having trouble sleeping, taking melatonin in the evening may help adjust your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care centers are equipped to treat all urgent non-life-threatening medical needs including minor frost bite, back sprains and strains, minor concussions and any other urgent medical needs that may arise during the winter months. Click here to find the nearest ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care near you!

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