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Winter Wellness

 

As the earth tilts the Northern Hemisphere farther away from the sun, we experience less daylight and chilly weather – encouraging us to stay indoors and allowing our appetites to indulge in rich seasonal meals. According to studies, people tend to gain weight during the winter months due to several potential factors such as survival instincts, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and holiday culture. If you notice that your habits are influenced by the season, know that your health and wellness doesn’t have to suffer. By incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and a few at-home workouts into your schedule, you can keep your body healthy this season.

Fruits and Vegetables

Even though heavy comfort foods are typical during winter months, there are fruits and vegetables in season at your local grocery store that you can incorporate into your diet. By using the following fresh produce, you can cook healthier versions of your favorite comfort dishes, saving yourself from excess carbs and calories.

  • Beets
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Date plums
  • Dates
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruit
  • Pear
  • Pomegranate
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Turnips
  • Winter squash

Not only does produce present healthier options, but it also provides your body with vitamins and nutrients that can help you fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The omega-3 fatty acids, folate and various vitamins found in brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and winter squash can fight seasonal depression symptoms. Since the body doesn’t naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, it’s important that you substitute them into your diet.

If you are looking for antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins – you can incorporate citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. The soluble fiber is 60-70 percent of the fruit and lowers cholesterol while preventing blood sugar spikes. The fruit’s remaining insoluble fiber prevents constipation and promotes healthy digestive waste. Citrus is also an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C has many roles in the body such as assisting collagen production, immune support and the absorption of iron. It also prevents damage from free radicals, provides elasticity to the skin, reduces inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Of this list, kale has the most amount of vitamin C, with one cup containing 4.5 times more than an orange!

At-Home Workouts

Cold weather and less daylight often mean fewer outdoor activities. If long runs or walks were once part of your workout routine, winter could leave you looking for an alternative. Let’s not forget that our bodies can be just as beneficial as a great piece of equipment when exercised correctly. If you are staying indoors this season, it’s time to get creative and try out a few movements that can keep you active and healthy. Take a look at these 53 ways to move your body which can all be done within the space of a yoga mat.

Don’t assume that because you aren’t in a gym, you aren’t improving your health. Bodyweight exercises provide great benefits to a body’s overall health. They are natural movements that use additional muscles to stabilize yourself where a machine would not. They’re also incredibly functional for your body, allowing you to build muscles that will help you in your daily life.

This season is a great opportunity to get creative and try new things. So, mix up your winter meals with a few new veggies and dedicate yourself to a 30-minute at-home exercise a few times a week. Unlike past behavior, your wellness isn’t hibernating this year!

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