Even here in Florida, temperatures are dropping, the days are shortening, and clothing choices are becoming more expansive – Winter is right around the corner. The time is perfect to start preparing your mind and body for a successful, happy, healthy season. Follow these tips to help maintain your wholesome habits through the upcoming season.
Winter may not offer the same level of produce at the local Palafox market, but there are more options than meat and potatoes. While oranges and grapefruit become more prevalent in October to December in Florida, most of the country’s produce production will slow; however, you can build meals around fun winter options like butternut squash, kale, and sweet potatoes. Check out some recipe options for butternut squash. (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/g767/butternut-squash-recipes/)
Keep your fitness routine intact, not only because it burns calories and helps keep your weight in check, but also because it fights off feelings of depression. Dark mornings, darker evenings, and chilly gray days in between can cause the “winter blues” and while there is no clinical diagnosis for the winter blues, the National Institutes of Health state they can be fairly common and typically indicated by feeling more down than usual, sad, or less energized. Lace up those shoes and make your way to Alpha.
Do not let the shorter days keep you from your daily dose of vitamin D. Make a point to go outside in the middle of the day for a walk or to soak up some sunshine to keep your immune system healthy. This will minimize your opportunity for a cold or the flu. Don’t make a common mistake of forgetting the sunscreen though. While the sun may not feel as hot, the UV rays can still burn you. Pick a moisturizer with sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and you will be set for winter, while keeping those dry elbows and knees moisturized.
Shorter days are the perfect excuse for a bit of hibernating, but don’t become a hermit. Keep those workouts and friendly outings, but assure you continue with the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain your body as healthy as possible. Researchers have identified lower levels of sleep to fewer flu-fighting antibodies. Enjoy the darker nights for more meaningful rest.
When the temperatures drop, it becomes harder to keep drinking plenty of water, but hydration is just as important in the winter. It helps keep energy levels up, assists with boosting your immune system, aids in digestion, and keeps your skin moisturized as the season becomes dry. Keep sipping on your water throughout the day or find other ways to consume more water by eating juicy fruits like Florida oranges.