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6 Ways to Stay Healthy in Winter

It’s the season for spreading good cheer, spending time with family and friends, and reveling in holiday festivities. But health pitfalls lurk among these holiday joys: Increased stress and heavy foods, while nasty weather makes getting to the gym a hassle. Here are some tips offered by experts on overcoming winter-weather woes and staying healthy in winter.

1.    Get enough sleep. Especially when the days are shorter, sleep is vital for repairing your body’s damaged tissues. Getting plenty of sleep also reduces lethargy and sluggishness. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night.

2.    Keep moving. Cold weather can zap workout motivation. Stay active during colder months to prevent the stagnation of prana—an Ayurvedic term referring to your body’s vital energy. Physical movement boosts blood circulation and increases body heat, which keeps prana flowing throughout your body. Invest in exercise DVDs featuring Pilates or kickboxing routines when the weather is especially crummy.

3.    Bundle up. Layer your clothing while exercising outdoors. Opt for breathable and waterproof fabrics to keep you dry and warm. Wear a light hat and use gloves, as heat is quickly lost through your head and hands.

4.    Warm your insides. Eat warming foods like roasted root vegetables, soup, and spices like cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

5.    Eat your veggies, skip the sugar. Consuming excess carbohydrates promotes belly fat. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as sugary baked goods, white bread, and white rice. Instead eat more complex carbohydrates: Green and yellow vegetables like steamed broccoli, spinach, and bell peppers.

6.    Wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy. Experts recommend hand-washing for 10 to 15 seconds with soap and water to reduce the spread of germs

Reprinted with changes from, by permission of the publisher.

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