The Healthy Winter Checklist (How Many Can You Do This Winter to be Heart Healthy?)
As the weather cools we have the tendency to allow our activity levels and health-goals to slip. The fitness regime you had all summer, the fresh summer ingredients you were filling your plate with, and the active events you took part in outside… have all slowed. What can you do? How can you beat the winter blues and stay healthy? We’ve got your winter health checklist!
As the days darken faster, you feel more lethargic and don’t want to go out into the cold, so exercising gets pushed back. Instead, stay on top of your heart health by exercising in ways that make it feel less like a task! Don’t want to go to the gym? Try a winter activity instead:
- Go tobogganing or skating
- Shovel neighbour’s driveways
- Walk through holiday light events
- Go skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing
- Hike to find a Christmas tree
Get More Sleep
The winter months are overflowing with holiday preparation, events, and end-of-year projects. With so much going on, it is no wonder that you are feeling run down and tired. A lack of sleep results in our hearts struggling to slow down and be at rest. The best way to tackle this problem is by catching some restful zzz’s every chance you can. On the weekends, sleep in! And on the weekdays, start by heading to bed 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier!
Reduce the Juice
Sparkling ciders, alcoholic beverages, hot chocolate… winter is full of seasonal drinks that are cozy and warm, but loaded with sugar! In a survey conducted by Statistics Canada, it was found that “among adults, 23.6% of total sugars came from sugary beverages.” Give your body a break and boost your heart health by limiting the amount of sugary drinks you consume. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it, or better yet, choose water instead!
Canadians get less sunlight in the winter, and therefore their bodies find a short supply of Vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements and using ‘sunshine lights’ on your desk will help keep you strong and healthy while you wait for the sun to shine again. It is also recommended to take Vitamin C and Calcium to increase your body’s immune support to protect against winter illnesses.
NOTE: Before taking any vitamins or supplements, ALWAYS speak to your healthcare practitioner!
Self-care is the most critical action you can do throughout winter. Taking the time to reduce stress and care for yourself is essential to protecting against mental health issues (like seasonal affective disorder, depression, etc.). Throughout the summer you want to be out and about doing things, but in the winter you have more opportunities to kick back and relax at home – take advantage of that! The better care you take of yourself, the better your mental health, and the happier your heart.
Ready to take action this winter and keep your health in shape? Use this checklist to keep you on track and keep your heart health high!
Have you taken the time to add ingredients to your diet that will improve your heart health? If you answered no, then this is your reminder that your body can become SUPER with the right foods! Specifically, superfoods!