By: Mission Healthy Living
February 04, 2019
The winter might feel like a good time to hibernate—the weather barely scrapes above freezing and it’s still sort of dark when you leave the office. But that just makes it even more important to stay on top of your health and wellness during the winter months.
Exercising When It’s Cold Outside
You might not feel like bundling up for your morning walk, and that’s okay. Try walking around a mall or indoor market. This might be a good time to join a gym or a local community center. (Many gyms will offer a free pass for a couple of days so you can check out the facilities before making a commitment!) Or switch up your routine and try exercising at home—anything from mild stretching during the commercials of your favorite show to getting some simple equipment like weights or a kettle bell. There are plenty of free videos online that can show you how to do different exercises suitable to your activity level.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Can Be More Than the Winter Blues
The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) defines SAD as a type of depression that typically begins during the fall and winter, improving during the spring and summer. (While SAD can occur during the warmer months, it’s less common.)
Low energy, sleeping a lot, overeating, and withdrawing from social activity are just some SAD-specific symptoms. Keep an eye out for other indicators of depression as well, such as feeling hopeless, losing interest in hobbies, feeling sluggish or agitated, among other symptoms.
FACT: Women are four times more likely than men to be diagnosed with SAD.
If these symptoms sound familiar, talk with your doctor. According to NIMH, there are treatments for SAD—including medication, light therapy, and vitamin D.
Stay Safe During Storms and Freezing Weather
Rather than racing out for bread and milk at the first sign of snow, the CDC has other recommendations for how to stay safe inside during the cold. These are steps you can take before the inclement weather hits:
- Make sure your heating system is checked and operating smoothly
- Change all the smoke detector batteries and make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors
- Have an alternate heat source ready, just in case
- Ensure your home is insulated and free of water leaks—clean out your gutters too
- Keep an emergency kit in your car
- Purchase your nonperishable food items and bottles of water ahead of time to avoid low stock during winter storms
Prevent the Flu
Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, fever—no part of the flu is pleasant. Do your best to stay germ-free by avoiding people with the flu, washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and practicing good general habits like getting enough sleep and staying hydrated.
If you do happen to come down with the flu, do your best to stay home from work and avoid public places to try and keep your germs to yourself. Get more tips from the CDC on how to manage during the sniffly season.