There’s nothing worse than being all fired up to get back into your regular exercise routine as the New Year begins, only to be struck down with a cold or winter bug.
So get ahead by following these tips to keep the bugs at bay.
Take a shot of Echinacea
Yes! I know, I am always mentioning it – but that’s because it works! It is a herbal supplement best taken in liquid format rather than tablet. It has been proven to ward off colds and bugs by boosting your immune system. You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter so making sure your immune system is in tip-top condition is important. I have told so many people about Echinacea and those who have tried it say that the only time they have had a cold is when they haven’t taken it for a while! It’s available for juniors too so if you’re kids are constantly catching everything going at school, squeeze a few drops into their milk or juice each day and help keep them safe.
Drink more milk
Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12. They’re also an important source of calcium, which helps keep our bones strong. Try to go for semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, rather than full fat, and low-fat yoghurts.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
When it’s cold and dark outside it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food, but it’s important to ensure that you still keep your diet healthy and include five portions of fruit and veg a day. If you find yourself craving a sugary treat, try a juicy clementine or satsuma instead or sweet dried fruits such as dates or raisins.
Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips can be roasted, mashed or made into soup for a comforting winter meal for the whole family. Explore varieties of fruit and veg that you may not normally eat.
Get enough sleep
Our bodies naturally crave more sleep in the darker months so don’t be afraid to go to bed earlier or have a later start in the morning. You’re not getting old – you’re just getting wise!
Sounds a bit obvious but being cold can lead to other health problems so wear lots of layers so you don’t get caught out by a cold or wet snap. Remember too, that when you leave the gym, hopefully hot & sweaty, it’s important to wrap up well to go home.
Your body still needs plenty of water (6-8 glasses per day) to stay hydrated even if it is cold outside and you’re not as hot or sweaty as you would be in the summer.
Getting a good start to the day means eating breakfast. A meal like porridge will give your body the extra fuel it needs to stay warm.
Keeping up your exercise will improve your circulation, helping your body to stay warmer when the weather is cold.