Winter Wellness Tips Winter Wellness Tips - Lifestyle EXERCISE The cold weather can cause you to feel lazier, loosing motivation to exercise. Keep at it and don’t give up! And don’t be too hard on yourself either if it’s been a few days or weeks in between sessions. It’s important to maintain regular exercise during the winter months to help support your immune system so that your body can fight off winter bugs. It is a well-known fact that exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and other pathogens that may otherwise opportunistically overrun your body. It’s important to have a varied routine that includes HIIT training, stretching and weight-bearing exercises. However, to get started it can be as simple as a walk around the block during your lunch break which also gives you a boost of natural vitamin D. Aim for 30minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day. Day-to-day incidental exercise is helpful and will keep the blood pumping fresh oxygen around your body. It’s good to get up and away from your desk as often as you can so try going for a walk to talk to colleagues instead of sending an email or take the stairs instead of the lift. Every hour stand up and do some stretches at your desk to get blood flowing or do 10 squats every time you go to the bathroom or wait for the kettle to boil. Putting a little extra muscle behind your movement can surprisingly burn extra calories without even really thinking about it. If you are feeling a bit unmotivated grab a buddy in the office and make it a fun competition. But if you do get sick it’s very important to REST! You need to let your body get over the bug it is trying to shake and continuing to exercise will only delay your recovery. REST Rest is the best medicine, if you’ve come down with a cold or flu make sure you stay home and rest. Going to work when your sick will not only delay your healing and recovery time but it will also spread the infection around the office. A good night’s sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle as it can benefit your heart, weight and mind. Sleep is the way our bodies refuel and too little especially in times of stress your immune system becomes weaker and more vulnerable to viruses. Optimal sleep hygiene is necessary to have good night time sleep quality and full daytime alertness. Sleep hygiene is the term used to describe a good sleep habit, that is things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good refreshing sleep. Improve your sleep hygiene by limiting day time napping, if you’re lucky enough to get them to 30 minutes. Short naps can help improve mood, alertness and performance. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bed time. Obviously, no nicotine at all is ideal and with alcohol, moderation is always the key. While it may seem like alcohol will send you to sleep it in fact disrupts the second half of the night as your body begins to process it. Your bedroom should be a peaceful area, leaving distracting devices such as phones and laptops in another room and keep outside light to a minimum. SKIN Winter is your skin’s worst enemy, cold air, wind, heating and hot showers will dry out your skin so it’s important to keep your face and body well moisturised as well as staying hydrated. Coconut oil is well known for its antifungal and anti-bacterial properties and is also great as a moisturiser. HYGIENE We are all aware of how washing your hands regularly can help to avoid communicable diseases such as colds and coughs. The water in winter is a lot colder, sometimes feeling like it’s on the verge of freezing but it is important to remember not to touch your face with unwashed hands as germs transferred from inanimate objects can cause infections, so it’s a good idea to also disinfect your desk surface, mouse and ear piece once a week to prevent the spreading of germs. Especially when these are communal items. Keeping the office or your house closed with the heaters on is a perfect environment for millions of microbes to breed. Try to make sure you air out a room everyday with the best time being when the sun is out. Leaving doors and windows open for even a short time can circulate clean air, getting rid of bad odours, harmful organisms, dust and mould. Wash those woollens you wear regularly during winter (that includes your scarves!). We tend to not wash them too often as they can take longer to dry. But it is essential that they do get washed frequently as they tend to attract dust, flakes from our skin and mucous from coughing and sneezing.