In the last few weeks, it sure has been interesting – here in Alabama we would go from freezing temps in the morning with highs in the 70’s later that day. In Denver, they had the opposite issue when they went from T-Shirt weather in the morning to a blizzard by that afternoon. Not only does this impact us working outside during those periods, but our kids, spouses, etc… So how does one stay healthy during this time & hopefully avoid the common flu & colds that pop up around this time?
While it is cool out and we are not sweating as much, we tend to cut back on how much water we drink as we are not as thirsty. As we have mentioned before, the body is an amazing self-regulating machine allowing us to deal well with hot weather & cold weather. As such you still need the water to not only stay hydrated; but to help flush toxins & absorb nutrients need to stay healthy.
QUICK TIP: One of your bodies warning signs that you are getting dehydrated is the feeling of fatigue, so you might want to take a quick break & enjoy a glass of water.
Wash your hands, cover your mouth… I really can’t think of anyone that doesn’t know about this advice but it still is an important reminder. Along those lines, while those antibacterial quick shot products may be nice, it still doesn’t beat actually washing your hands before eating or cooking. Oh & just because you don’t think you might not sweat as much, a shower a day is still a good idea.
QUICK TIP: Chapped lips & dry skin are a problem for many, so don’t forget to bring some ChapStick with you & possibly apply lotion after taking a shower.
I got to admit I am a forager – i.e. constantly snacking on food, which can be a bad thing with all the holiday treats that are left out & offered. Not only is this a bad thing, but it also prevents many from eating a healthy balanced diet which will keep you healthy. While taking a multi-vitamin &/or other vitamin supplements might help make up for this, nothing beats getting the vitamins needed via a well-balanced meal.
Dress for Success:
In Arizona we used to joke about how we would start with a pile of boulders or rock to be used in a landscape project & we would finish out the day with a great looking landscape minus that stack of clothing that was as tall as the original pile. In short, the best thing one can do when the weather starts changing is dressing in layers & removing them (or adding them) as conditions apply. One item to be careful about is sweating in real cold weather, so your first layer should be a wicking layer to help pull that moisture away from you.
Don’t be a hermit:
I know a few guys up north that simply shutter their doors for the winter time & rely on snow plowing or other activities to help make it through the winter. For others they go skiing, while a final group just seemingly hides like the groundhog until spring &/or hibernates like a bear. While sleep is necessary to staying healthy, so is keeping an active lifestyle & getting out. Not only will this help you eliminate the winter-time blues, but also help keep you healthy and in shape for when spring rolls around. If nothing else make sure you exercise at least 30 minutes every other day.
Additional Information & Websites:
- LiveStrong.Org: How to Exercise Right & Stay Healthy
- FunandFit.org – always funny, with some great advice on eating, health & fitness
- HTRC Articles on Heat, Working Outside, the Holidays, and Holiday Planning
- Sunday’s Zaman (A Turkish Newspaper):