There’s already more than just a nip in the air and we are all beginning to sun our woolens in preparation for the winters that are just setting in. Winter might seem like a carnival, what with the many festivals and celebrations, but the dreariness of the cold winter days is a reality forlorn. From beating the chill of the winter to defeating the winter blues, from perking up your mood to preparing your body for the harsh onslaught that is to follow, winter calls for battling the chinks in the armors. Here’s some handy tips to follow to ensure that your life isn’t any miserable when the winters finally settle down in its full fancy!
Dress up sufficiently
Why winter clothes occupy an exclusive space in your closet is some no- brainer stuff. Do justice to this dedicated pile then and layer your body with multiple pieces of winter specific clothing to keep your body warm and protected. It is extremely important to put on body hugging, heat insulating inners that will trap your body heat and help keep you snug throughout.
Go for denser sweaters that appear thin but are absolute winners at imparting heat. Keep scarves and mufflers handy to ward off the chill of the winds. Mittens or gloves and socks as well as caps are also vital winter clothing that you should not ditch even when you are indoors. And don’t worry about looking like a fat pile of shit. If you know to layer right, you can remain as much the enigmatic fashionista even all through the winters!
Eat freshly made warm food
Winters have this tendency to get metabolism and digestion go haywire. Lesser physical activity, greater strain on the body and an overall change in the ambient temperature, it isn’t particularly convenient for your body to make the winter switch. Allow it some convenience therefore by doing and eating right.
Cold, stale food should be completely shunned when the chill starts setting in. Not only your taste buds won’t find any relish in cold food but it also nags further an already weakened metabolism. Freshly made food not only tastes better but also warms up your body and makes digestion a more free flowing process. It eases down the overall breakdown of food and does not leads to congestion unlike food that had been lid down for long.
Sleep longer and better
Winter is that time of the year when you don’t want to get out of the blankets. Curling under the warmth of layers of quilts feels like heaven on cold days and you should take this yearning as an opportunity to sleep longer and better through the dreary winter days.
Not only is sleep a good mechanism to build up body warmth but also a regulated sleep regimen also helps keep stress and anxieties at bay. During those days when winter blues anyway have you feeling out of spirits, it is absolutely necessary that you do not lose out on your stress coping sleep. And doing it in a routine is equally important. Acclimatising your body to the harshness of winters is already too much exertion. Ease things up a bit for your physiological mechanism by at least making sleep an easy lure.
Watch out for your daily routine if you don’t want to put on weight
Winter calls for hibernation, so naturally your body becomes adapted to staying chill and idle. Which means that burning calories and shedding fat isn’t very amped up while putting on weight is quite easy because weather makes indulgence tougher to resist. It’s very important therefore that your daily routine doesn’t go up for a toss simply because the chill is too much for you to stay motivated.
Stay on course with your sleep and wake up schedules, keep the tab on with your diet and don’t forget to get some regular physical activity. Take the stairs instead of the lift for instance if you are too reluctant to do any extra stuff. Try incorporating small changes in your daily routine while sticking to your original detour so that you don’t have much to rue about once you shed off the padding but can’t shed off the extra inches.
Have more milk and dairy products
Winter calls for foods that are naturally rich and nutritious. For the body to cope up with the loss of heat it is necessary to charge it up with foods that have a warming effect. This is where milk and milk products step into the picture.
Milk is an excellent source of fat and proteins, specifically in winters when the contents get maximised owing to temperature effects. If you are someone wary of accumulating the fats, go for skimmed milk or the semi skilled variant. You can also try gorging on a bowl of yogurt enriched with fruits as an after- meal dessert. Other dairy products like cheese also endow your body with the required doses of calcium and vitamins so that your body can retain its heat. Milk products though can lead to throat irritation and mucous formation, so if you are someone perennially down with colds and sore throats go a bit relaxed with this one.
Don’t seek warmth in comfort foods
It’s okay to bite into a piece of cake every now and then or having a handful of namkeens as accompaniment to your evening tea. But don’t take this as a cue to settle down comfortably with addictive junk just because you need a treat after enduring the dreariness of the day.
Seek solace instead in warm soups of seasonal veggies or natural fruit juices. Even seasonal whole fruits need to be eaten aplenty, specially those like oranges and tangerines that give you the required dosage of vitamin C. Munching on fruits and salads is also the way to go to avoid winter cravings.
Avoid sugar as much as possible and resort to the natural sweetness of fruits or even honey. It’s also best to ditch refined oils and incorporate ghee in moderate amounts in your diet. Spices like ginger and garlic are also a good winter staple not only because they warm up the body with their pungency but they also have medicinal properties. Plus, they do up the taste of virtually any dish to a different level altogether.
Seek warmth in your tea cuppa
Keeping your body hydrated is a necessity not specific only to summers. Your body needs to be feeding on adequate quantities of water even when the winter chill does not call for bottles of water to be gulped down. To make up for this requirement, you can opt for herbal teas to sip on this winter.
Tea is one of the most refreshing of natural beverages. Loaded with antioxidants, tea protects your body from illness while instantly calming it down. The many compounds present in tea also instantly energizes the body making it easier for you to resume your daily routine. Herbal teas take the effect a bit further with their additional medicinal properties. Instantly rejuvenating and hydrating, sipping on cups of tea is also a wonderful way to break the lethargy of the cold winter moments.
Feed on more fiber
To ease digestion that is already a grave concern in winters, it’s necessary that you include more fiber in your meals. Leafy greens and seasonal vegetables need to stack up your plate more than the staples if you want to keep your bowels up and moving in the cold. Also munch on nuts that are not only rich in fiber but also has enough vitamins and minerals to warm up your body. Raw veggie salads are also a great way to incorporate enough fiber in your food.
Warm up by stretching and not by curling down
Though it is not easy to escape the winter lure of being down and under the sheets all the time, it is to your benefit that you don’t yield in to the pleasure. Curling down indeed leaves you warmer but getting out of that comfort is nothing less of a torture because the cold tends to get you harder the minute you step out.
An alternative and more effective way of staying warm is staying up and about. While it be making rounds in the house while doing chores or simply stretching and kicking to keep your muscles from getting all stiff and numb, keep the blood running. It’s your internal mechanism that generates body heat more effectively than any outward force can.
Take out time to sun bathe
Soaking in the pleasantly warm rays of the winter sun is a luxury you should not miss. That feeling of the mild heat touching down on your skin and permeating the body has to be the best wintery thing ever. From endowing you with vitamin D to helping your body ditch the many germs of infections and disease and also helping ward off the miserable winter mood, a sun date is a blessing. Also make sure to let your clothes dry in the sun while pillows and cushions should be regularly sun bathed as well to get rid off the dust and dirt that accumulates on them. Also let your house get ample sunlight to cleanse it off and also to keep the happy spirit radiating within your haven.
Go gluten free
Opt also for gluten free foods like healthy grains as quinoa and millets more and more. Because low gluten means easy digestion and also more nutrition in most cases. You can even make use of gluten free ingredients to whip up interesting recipes that can even make do as your comfort food!
Meditate and exercise
We don’t really need to reiterate how essential even moderate regular exercise is for your overall physical and mental well being. Stick to your exercise regimen not minding the overpowering winter chill. Additionally, go also for some meditative techniques that will calm down your mind and help keep your winter demons at bay.
Moisturise your skin
The dry days of winter robs your skin of its moisture which means parched lips, cracked feet and rough hands are the order of the day. Be sure therefore to lace your entire body with generous amounts of moisturiser regularly. Adapt your beauty regimen to take into fold the associated winter problems so that you continue to shine bright throughout. Above all, keep hydration at an all time high if you do not want to lose out on your natural glow and sheen.
Put up heavier curtains
The chill of the winters is already unbearable, don’t make those sudden gusts of wind from making your existence a living hell. Layer your doors and windows with heavy curtains that don’t fumble about at every wave. You don’t need the breezy, airy feel permeating your house all day all night long in the winter season. Sturdier blinds and curtains do a lot in keeping the wind from making inroads to your house and lathering you with unwanted chill. However, do keep the doors and windows open for some time every day to let your house breathe some fresh air and not succumb to the dreariness of the cold.
Try minimising the hot quotient of your shower
Sure, there’s nothing more comforting than a nice, warm shower after a long, dreary day out in the cold. But while a steamy shower might feel like your ultimate indulgence, it is best to stick to lukewarm baths.
Of course there’s nothing more soothing to the internal organs of the body than a cold shower. But since only a lucky few can endure such extremities even in the chill of the winters, you can turn to the geyser for some solace. But be sure to keep the temperature at a steady minimum so that your dry winter skin does not end up getting an irritation. And the cold surge that overpowers you every time you step out of one of those hot showers should already be seriously offsetting for your warm bath endeavours. Try therefore keeping your bath water tepid so that it does not interfere with the natural temperature coping mechanism of your body.