by Carole Brown
I’m not a professional dietitian, doctor or whatever in diagnosing what ails you, but here are some thoughts and/or suggestions to check out. Be sure to talk with a professional/doctor before using any of these vitamin/herbals.
Keep active. It’s essential to support our health and well being. Moving your exercise indoors during winter will help to keep you warm as well as fit and healthy. Be sure to spend time warming up before you start your exercise as it can take a little longer for your joints to loosen up in the cold weather.
Skin health. The cold weather can affect our skin and contribute to conditions such as dry, itchy skin, chill blains and eczema. Reduced humidity, drinking less water than you would during summer or possibly due to reduced circulation which may decrease the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin are some reasons.
- Use moisturizers daily to help keep the skin moist and supple.
- Supplements containing vitamin E or garlic help assist blood circulation.
- Psoriasis or eczema? Try taking fish oils which provides omega-3.
- Sunscreen. Sunburn can happen even when the weather is cold!
Keeping bugs at bay. Although we can do a lot to support our health and immunity during winter it is not always possible to avoid catching a cold or flu. The viruses that cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact.
- Wash or sanitize your hands regularly.
- Avoid close contact with someone who has a cold.
- Keep household surfaces clean as well as kids’ toys when someone in the family has a cold.
- If you are ill, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, including water, hot tea and soup.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine and get plenty of sleep.
- Supplements such as vitamin C, zinc and echinacea may help relieve the symptoms and reduce the duration of a cold.
Stress and healthy mood.
- Stress is a part of everyday life.
- Some stress helps us to meet challenging situations, but excessive amounts of stress can have negative effects.
- Stress can lower the resistance to nasty bugs (it depresses the immune system).
- Stress increases your need for dietary magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function.
- Many of the B vitamins e.g. B1, B5, B6 and B12 are also needed for a healthy nervous system.
- The herb St John’s Wort may help to relieve nervousness, irritability and help support emotional balance. It may also be beneficial to help promote healthy mood balance. But make sure to talk with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before starting a supplement like this.
Circulation. During winter hands and feet often are cold. Since they are extreme parts of our bodies (the most further from our heart which pumps the blood that keeps us warm) . Vitamin E and the herb Ginkgo help to support peripheral blood circulation, thereby alleviating cold hands and feet. MOVE with gentle exercise: helps improve circulation. Wear socks and gloves!
Stay healthy. Stay positive. Most of all, enjoy winter–whatever works for you!