Health Tips & Articles

Happy and Healthy for the Winter

by Gary M. Gorman, D.C.

The winter holidays can be filled with fun, food, and festivities.  As the temperature drops and the daylight hours shorten, however, our lifestyles can change dramatically, compromising our health and well-being.  The stresses of holiday preparations, final projects and examinations for students, overeating and under-sleeping from too many celebrations, and year-end deadlines can all create dramatic lifestyle changes this time of year.  We may think that these challenges are beyond our control, but, fortunately, that is not always the case. 

The following tips may help to preserve your health and well-being during the holiday season and into the coming winter months:

1. Proper Rest: Each individual has different sleep requirements, but everyone needs time to recuperate from the stresses and strains of daily activities. Going to sleep at approximately the same time each night is important. It is also important to ensure our sleeping environments are quiet, comfortable and free from stressful or stimulating activities, such as paying bills or watching television. If you cannot fall asleep, get out of bed and find something boring to do before trying to sleep again. Don’t teach yourself that your bed is a frustrating place to be.

2. Healthy Diet: There is an old expression, “We are what we eat.” Remember that holiday sweets should be a treat and not a staple part of your diet. Limit your portion sizes by using a smaller plate. Before you attend that holiday party, eat a small, healthy snack so that you don’t load up on fatty, calorie-laden fare

3. Exercise: Maintaining a level of conditioning is important throughout the year but is especially in the winter when we tend to be more inactive. Snow shoveling and snow blowing can be dangerous for those who are not in shape. Before going out to shovel snow, be sure to do some simple stretching exercises.

A simple way to remain active during the winter months is with 20 minutes of walking several times a week. This can be done at a local mall or outside when the weather permits. Consider joining a Zumba or Yoga class. Both offer excellent forms of stretching and movement in a fun and friendly environment.

Many of the patients whom we see in the Chiropractic Department need treatment because they tried to do more than what their bodies could handle without the sufficient rest, a healthy diet, and an adequate level of physical exercise.  Following these simple suggestions should help to keep us all happier and healthier this winter.

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