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Maintaining Healthy Habits in Winter

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Once the clocks have fallen back and the leaves are off the trees, many of us hang up our outdoor exercise equipment and do our best to hibernate until the warmth of spring makes its triumphant return. As tempting as it is to curl up with a pot of soup and a good book, keeping up good habits all year has huge advantages for your overall health, including a stronger immune system. Of course if you do get sick, your health and dental insurance benefits will help cover the costs of medication, but we happen to think it would be better to avoid illness at all costs.

Winter Health Habits

There are a lot of things you can do to keep up healthy habits all year long. Here are a few of our favourites:

  1. Keep eating your fruits and vegetables. The fresh, crisp salads of summer may be gone for the season, but that doesn’t mean fruits and vegetables should be off the menu. If you can’t bear the cost of fresh, off-season produce, check out the freezer aisle. Modern freezing techniques preserve nearly all of the delicious, nutritious goodness of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Exercise. Though the treadmill isn’t quite the same as brisk walk in the great outdoors, it is important to keep up your fitness routine all year long. If you just can’t bear that “hamster in a wheel” feeling, try finding an outdoor activity that you love, like skiing or skating. While you can’t avoid the cold weather completely, you can learn to embrace it.
  3. Wash your hands. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe from the myriad of seasonal viruses is simple hand washing, several times a day. Roll up your sleeves, lather up and scrub all over your hands (don’t forget between the fingers) and rinse thoroughly. Do this after every trip to the restroom and before every meal, and reap the health rewards of practicing good hygiene!
  4. Manage stress levels. The upcoming holiday season is a time of joy for many families, but for others it’s a time of sadness and stress. Remember that you don’t have to attend every function you’re invited to, so try to avoid over-scheduling yourself into misery. Check your health and dental insurance plan to see what professional services are available to help you manage the stress of the season.
  5. Get some sleep. All year long, and especially during the busy holiday season, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough rest. In fact, if you routinely sleep fewer than seven hours per night, you’re setting yourself on the fast track to a diminished immune system.

While winter’s chill makes it more challenging to keep moving, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach to keeping up healthy habits. In fact, minor tweaks may be all you need to preserve your health all year long.

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