Seasonal Tips To Stay Healthy (And Sane)!

Dec 11, 2020

Winter is coming and with that the silly season of Christmas where we tend to over-indulge, get stressed and spend far too long sitting in our sofas! Read on for some little tips and pieces of advice to help keep your mind and body at their optimum this winter…





Your body is designed for movement, and your nerves, muscles and joints in fact require movement in order to stay healthy and functional. It can be difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to get outdoors and take a brisk walk when it’s cold and raining (If it weren’t for owning a lively Labrador I’d often find it preferable to stay by the fire rather than put my waterproofs on and brave the elements!). But if you want to keep stiff and aching joints and muscles at bay, stay healthy and fight the winter blues, it is important to get fresh air and exercise. Just a 20-30 minute brisk walk outside can boost your energy, mood and immune system, improve your blood circulation, lower blood pressure and increase your body’s ability to flush out toxins (essential after Christmas excesses!). If you really can’t bear to get outdoors, at least get up and do a lap of the living room several times during the Christmas re-runs!



It isn’t new news that eating a clean diet abundant with fresh vegetables and fruits can help to keep us generally more healthy. However, often once the cold dark nights draw in, it’s tempting to turn to ‘comfort’ foods that are often packed full of sugar that can wreak havoc on our health. Seasonal winter green leafy vegetables (sprouts!) are a rich source of vitamin B and immune-boosting properties. Other good sources of B-group Vitamins are avocadoes, legumes, nuts, seeds and red meat. Soups and stews are a good way to increase your winter veg intake and will hopefully fill you up enough to keep you away from too many mince pies! Antioxidants can help reduce the free radical damage to cells from alcohol consumption and poor diet by neutralizing them. Foods rich in antioxidants include blueberries, acai berries, dark chocolate, green tea and red and orange coloured fruits and vegetables.



What an absolute party pooper I am! Bear with me…. Alcohol is a toxin to the human body. It is dealt with by the liver, which is a strong, robust organ but it requires water for doing its important job of filtering the toxins effectively. Alcohol acts as a diuretic in the body, causing dehydration and forcing the liver to find water elsewhere. Alcohol also causes damage to brain cells, causing them to swell, so if the hangover is to be avoided, keep your water intake up whilst you enjoy your mulled wine or Christmas bubbly – (Match one alcoholic drink with one water). Drink slowly (no more than one drink per hour) and ensure that you’ve eaten a healthy meal before you drink alcohol as this will slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Consider using Milk Thistle, it’s thought to enhance liver detoxification and protect the organ’s cells from alcohol-induced damage.



Following on from the last point, water is required for almost every bodily function so it is vital to keep levels up throughout the day. I am shocked at how many patients tell me that they never drink any water at all! Dehydration can cause us to suffer from headaches, feel tired and low and constipated. Aim to drink between 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily to stay well hydrated. Warm water is just as effective if you’re using the cold temperatures as an excuse to not drink water in winter!!





Most of us are Vitamin D deficient during the winter months as sunlight is limited as the days get shorter, the sun is weak and we wear more warm clothing so our skin doesn’t get exposed to sufficient sunlight to synthesize enough of its own vitamin D. Common symptoms of D vitamin deficiency are low mood, decreased energy, lowered disease resistance. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin D3 can significantly reduce your risk of catching flu, common cold and other respiratory illnesses.



In the winter months, and in run up to Christmas particularly, stress, anxiety and depression levels can rocket, especially this year with the restrictions in place, lots of us won’t be seeing the family or friends we would like to. Increased stress causes a spike in the hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol, which send us into a ‘fight or flight’ response, which is useful in the short term to motivate us to get out of danger or run to catch a bus, but prolonged stress like this has a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing long term. Practising some simple breathing techniques for a few minutes daily can be hugely helpful to calm the mind and reduce stress. Just sitting comfortably somewhere quiet with the soles of your feet planted on the floor, close your eyes and take some long slow deeper breaths, breathing in for the count of four and out for the count of four. The increased oxygen will help you feel calmer and more focussed. Read my recent Blog on stress for some more tips to help deal with it.



Chiropractic adjustments release stuck joints to allow your nervous system to function optimally so that your body can be at it’s best to cope with the seasonal stressors as well as possible! We will be open right up until Christmas and for some days between Christmas and New Year to keep you supported!