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Home/Blog/Winter Wellness: 11 Tips for Staying Healthy & Happy All Winter Long

Winter Wellness: 11 Tips for Staying Healthy & Happy All Winter Long

By Ethan Boldt

January 30, 2024

Winter wellness

Winter comes with many challenges. There’s less light so our outlooks can sour. It’s cold outside so we spend much less time outdoors. There’s less potent sunlight available for most of the country, so our bodies often don’t get the vitamin D they may typically get in the summertime. (Of course, vitamin D can help support a healthy immune system, which is important year-round.) 

Meanwhile, the cold dry air outside and the warm dry air inside can do a double-whammy on our skin. Seasonal fruits and vegetables aren’t as available. And feelings of isolation can become more common, with most people venturing out less for socialization. 

Well, here are 10 winter wellness tips to help keep you healthy and happy! As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen. 

1. Hydrate Yourself

Warm weather is a great reminder to drink more water and hydrate, but without it, many of us forget to keep hydrating ourselves. Exercising in the cold and then being exposed to constant warm dry air inside means you must continue to hydrate.

For a boost in helping to hydrate both your skin and body, Ancient Nutrition’s new Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate features a hydration superfood blend that includes Spanish red cave salt and red marine algae.

2. Support Your Healthy Immune System with Supplements 

To support a healthy immune system, consider these supplements: 

Ancient Nutrition's vitamin C supplement is delivered in a gold-standard, liquid metabolite form that maximizes absorption for more sustained benefits, including a healthy response to inflammation. 

Collagen Peptides Protein Immune promotes both a healthy immune defense and antioxidant activity on top of supporting a healthy skin, hair and nails.

The Once Daily SBO Probiotics Immune formula combines tough, effective probiotic strains with prebiotics, postbiotics and superfoods to support your healthy immune system. It supports both healthy digestion and immune system function.

The Multi Mushroom Daily Immune Defense Tablets are made with both ashwagandha and reishi. These mushrooms support the body’s ability to adapt to stress, promote both healthy immune system modulation and a cellular immune response, and support both a healthy nervous system and a healthy response to inflammation.

Most elderberry supplements on the market contain added sugars, which is counterintuitive when you’re supporting your healthy immune system. This elderberry supplement is sourced from the highest quality elderberry, plus it's fermented to aid absorption. Among its many benefits, it supports a healthy immune system, healthy immune function and gut-related immunity.

3. Wash Your Hands

While it’s important all year long, hand-washing should continue during the wintertime. Washing your hands frequently is one of the easiest tips to implement. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, making sure to lather up and getting all areas of your hands before rinsing off. 

Also, try to refrain from touching your eyes and nose with your hands during the day. 

4. Winter Skin Beauty Tips

When it comes to our skin, most of us could use a refresher on winter skincare

First, don’t overcleanse your skin or rinse with hot water, as that’ll just increase the likelihood of developing dry, dehydrated skin. 

Instead, use a gentle, oil-based cleanser, preferably just at night in winter. In the morning, spritz a hydrating toner onto a cotton pad, and give your face a wipe before applying your oils and lotions.

Second, it’s key to bolster your skin health with a nourishing facial and body oil in the wintertime. Oils are more concentrated and better for overall hydration when your skin is dry and dehydrated. (Also, as we said above, check out Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate.)

A good-quality oil, like argan oil or shea butter, will not only moisturize your skin well below the surface — it will also infuse it with nutrients that will fight free radicals, support healthy inflammation levels, help repair dry and damaged skin, and improve your skin’s lipid barrier (thereby helping to slow moisture loss through the pores).

Third, use a humidifier to deal with the lack of humidity in the air. It will add water into the air to help your skin retain moisture. You can also add essential oils for aromatherapy benefits. Try lavender, peppermint or orange oils.

5. Get Plenty of Vitamin D

More and more is being revealed lately about the vast health benefits of vitamin D. Previously known to impact bone health, vitamin D deficiency is now implicated in many health issues.

The best way to obtain vitamin D is through safe sun exposure. A lack of vitamin D (that many Westerners unknowingly have) can directly impact overall bodily health, including the immune system.

To remain healthy, make sure you get plenty of safe sun exposure on a regular basis. If you live somewhere that only gets sun seasonally, especially during the cold months, it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement until your levels are adequate enough to take you through these sunless seasons. Be sure to consult your healthcare professional to check your vitamin D levels.

6. Eat Winter Vegetables and Fruits

Winter vegetables are those that can grow even when the weather is very cold outside, including when there’s a frost. The benefit of opting to eat produce during the time of the year when it’s in season, including during the winter, include:

  • Support for local farm markets and farms. 

  • The produce does not require long distances for transport, which has environmental benefits.

  • The food tends to be more nutritious since it’s fresher, plus it usually tastes better.

Some of the more well-known vegetables that grow throughout the colder months of the year include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, carrots, parsnips, radicchio, kohlrabi, leeks, shallots, turnips, radishes and winter squash varieties. 

You can enjoy these winter whole food favorites as roasted veggies as well as in soups and stews, such as baked Brussels sprouts with honey glaze, acorn squash soup and cream of broccoli soup.

It’s also a great chance to add winter fruits — such as oranges, cranberries, pomegranate and kiwi — to your diet to boost your vitamin C and antioxidant intake. 

7. Get Moving 

You may be tempted to spend more time curled under a blanket indoors in the wintertime. While that’s okay on occasion, it’s also important to exercise your body several times a week and get in plenty of movement every day. 

But while the weather may not allow you to ride your bike or play tennis with a friend, enjoy the new types of activities you can do in the winter. This can include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating. 

When going out, make sure you check the forecast and dress accordingly. Wearing layers that you can shed can also help keep you from overheating. 

Of course, during wintertime, you will also spend far more time indoors than other times of year. So get active indoors by being strategic. Try a new activity like yoga or join a gym. Maybe create an at-home gym somewhere in your abode, even if it’s just a weight bench and some dumbbells. 

Why choose yoga as a wintertime activity? Studies indicate that yoga can help lower stress, improve sleep quality, improve flexibility (for those stiff winter joints!), improve balance, reduce fatigue and brain fog, build muscle and even boost weight loss efforts. 

You can try restorative yoga, which involves holding postures for a longer period of time — about 5 to 10+ minutes on average — with assistance from props that help you to stay comfortable. This allows your body to release tension, your breathing to slow and your mind to hopefully reach a calmer state.

8. Consider Red Light Therapy or Infrared Sauna

Red light therapy involves emitting red and near-infrared wavelengths through the skin. It can help stimulate cellular rejuvenation, increase blood flow, stimulate collagen, fight free radical damage and more.

Meanwhile, infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses heat and light to help relax and detoxify the body. These emit infrared light waves that create heat in the body, causing you to sweat and release stored toxins. 

Much less expensive than a traditional sauna, their light directly penetrates your skin but does not warm the air around you. The temperature in your body goes up quickly, yet the light has no effect on your surrounding environment — this is why you can use infrared saunas within your own home.

9. Try Hygge

Try what? Denmark consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world, but why? Some say it’s because of their concept called “hygge,” pronounced “HUE-gah.” Hygge involves practices that make the winter — when feelings like boredom, coldness and even darkness can hit — feel cozy, warm and comforting.

Hygge is now a more common practice to help others around the world get through the dark, cold winter months while maintaining a positive attitude. 

Tips include turning down the lights to create a comforting atmosphere and turning off devices. Togetherness is also key, so building relationships, reminiscing with loved ones and even tackling deeper topics like one’s goals and fears. You want to create a space that is trusting, loving and supportive.

Winter can be lonely for many, so even if not in person, it can help to text, phone or FaceTime loved ones more often during this time of year. 

Gratitude is also stressed, so you can take everything in, appreciate what’s around you, slow down and live in the moment. 

10. Get Enough Sleep 

Rest and recovery is important all year long, and during the cold months this can be particularly true. Do all that you can to stick to your typical sleep schedule, even when traveling. Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol, daytime napping and large meals before bed. These factors can get in the way of a good night's rest.

To help, aim to get some foods like bananas and almonds that can help you sleep. Some of the best sleep supplements include Ancient Herbals Sleep, Multi Collagen Protein Beauty + Sleep and Organic Ashwagandha

11. Try a Cold Plunge

Doing a cold plunge can help your muscles recover, provide energy and support several areas of the body. It typically involves a cold plunge tub that is purchased for the home, usually placed outdoors.

The water in a cold plunge tub is cooled by a chiller or refrigerator unit. The user can set the temperature of the water to the exact degree they desire. In addition, a cold plunge tub keeps water constantly flowing and uses a filtration system to ensure the water remains clean.

You can also experience similar benefits by doing a "polar plunge," which is immersing yourself in the cold water of a lake or river.

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