Keeping warm and staying fit in the winter as we age involves being aware of our circumstances and responding correctly to them. As the winter arrives, the cold creeps into our everyday lives and the focus shifts from trying to cool off to keeping warm and healthy. Although we tend to close the windows and block the fresh air from coming in, it’s important not to hermetically close yourself off to fresh air entering your environment. Go outside; get some sunshine and vitamin D! It’s typical to want to stay indoors and hibernate, but this can not only lead to vitamin D deficiency and potentially depression as well. So, bundle up, go out with a friend for a stroll and enjoy the crisp fresh air while staying warm.
Although drafts from improperly sealed windows and doors will increase your heating bill, fresh air or filtered air is important. That being said, staying warm should be your priority. As we age our bodies are less resistant to cold weather and are more susceptible to colds and flus because our immunity is weakened as we age. Keep your immune system strong by taking vitamins and be sure to protect your body’s natural temperature from decreasing to an unhealthy level because this can lower your resistance to germs. So, bundle up when you go outside and check that your windows and doors are not leaking precious heating.
You need to insulate your house and to insulate your body in the winter months. Layering your clothes helps as well as wearing long underwear. Undershirts and leggings, warm shirts and sweaters then on with the coat, hat, gloves, scarves and boots when you go outside. Although natural fibers for layering are highly recommended such as one hundred percent silk or wool undergarments, fleece is a great external layer. Fleece is an amazing material for shirts, sweaters, socks, and even slippers. It insulates you and keeps you warm and is easy to wash and dries very quickly. Using fleece as the last layer will keep you snug and warm.
Snuggling indoors next to the furnace all day with a hot cup of tea or cocoa is tempting, but this can lead to over indulging, gaining weight because your metabolism slows down which can affect your digestive system . Eating a healthy diet high in fiber and low in sugar is recommended, as well as drinking the recommended amount of water. Eat fruits and vegetables and make sure you get enough fiber. Stay away from too many caffeinated drinks because these tend to dehydrate your body. Staying properly hydrated helps to decrease swelling and dry skin. Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as an orange which not only tastes good, satisfies your sweet tooth but is a great preventative for the common cold and flu.
Of course consult with your doctor which additional vitamins to take, and which is the best diet possible for your individual needs and of course inquire about getting a flu shot. Have a happy warm, healthy winter!
- Get some fresh air while staying warm
- Layer your clothes
- Eat healthy foods
- Drink non caffeinated drinks
- Consult with your doctor about getting a flu shot
- Stay safe