How to Stay Safe and Healthy This Winter
According to survey results, 75% of people are more motivated to be healthy if the weather is perfect. Sunny skies might be a recipe for setting wellness goals, but prioritizing health in the winter is more critical.
Winter can be rough on the body and the psyche. Flus and viral infections do the rounds, dry air can tank your skin health, and comfort food can trigger winter weight gain.
Want a game plan for staying safe and healthy this winter? We have you covered.
Read on for the most important men’s health tips to avoid sickness and stay in great shape through winter.
Build Up Your Immune System
Having a strong immune system is one of the foundations of staying safe and healthy in winter. Viruses spread faster in cold weather, and scientists have discovered that this is partly due to a decline in the immune response from cells in the nasal cavity.
Here are some ways you can keep your immune system ramped up to avoid sickness:
- Get enough sleep
- Don’t drink alcohol in excess
- Reduce stress
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
You should also focus on eating a healthy diet and taking care of your nutrient levels.
Monitor Your Cardiovascular Health
Besides increasing the rate of flu transmission, winter can also open you up to a higher risk of cardiovascular events.
This is a serious men’s health risk that many people aren’t aware of.
Research shows that heart attacks can increase by up to 31% in winter. Cold weather constricts the blood vessels, which can increase your blood pressure.
Blood flow speeds up as the body tries to stay warm. Cholesterol levels can also climb in midwinter.
All of this makes it extra important to monitor your cardiovascular health during winter. If you are in any way at risk, or have a history of cardiovascular disease in your family, here are a few precautions you can take:
- Dress warmly, especially when going outside
- Don’t overexert yourself out in the cold (i.e. take breaks during snow shoveling)
- Ease into physical activity to get your blood flowing (i.e. run in place before snow shoveling)
If you’re worried about your heart, you shouldn’t overexert yourself in extreme cold. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise at all.
Exercise is critical for maintaining physical and mental health during winter. It can boost your mood, ward off winter weight gain, and improve your immune system.
Here are a few ideas for staying active in the winter:
- Mall walking
- Stair climbing
- Indoor sports (like basketball)
- Interval training
- Weight lifting
If you’re worried about the cold weather increasing your blood pressure, remember to start slow, exercise in a warm environment if you can, and bundle up.
When the weather gets cold, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. But adequate hydration is just as important in winter as in summer.
You might not be sweating as much, but winter weather can be very dehydrating. Humidity levels are usually a lot lower and the dry air can pull moisture out of your body.
You might also be eating fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, which can be a significant source of hydration.
Watch out for signs of dehydration, such as cotton mouth, headaches, and constipation.
If you find it difficult to drink cold water in winter, increase your warm fluid intake through herbal teas and hot broth. Provided you’re not too heavy-handed with the salt, soups can also be a source of hydration.
Look After Your Skin
Cold winter air can also dehydrate your skin, leaving it dry, red, rough, and irritated. Drinking enough fluids will help combat this from within, and a solid skincare routine can minimize epidermal water loss and irritation.
Make sure you have a good moisturizer and apply it twice a day after washing your face. The moisturizer you pick should contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid that draw water into the skin.
It should also contain a couple of rich occlusives that seal in the hydration and protect your moisture barrier, such as jojoba oil and shea butter.
Use a mild, hydrating facial cleanser that won’t strip the skin of moisture and leave your face feeling tight and dry.
Don’t wash your face with hot water, as this can rob your skin of even more moisture and irritate the skin barrier.
Avoid Excessively Hot Showers
We hate to be bearers of bad news, but those ultra-hot showers in winter can also exacerbate skin dryness.
If you’re struggling with flaking, irritated skin in winter, try to turn down the heat in the shower, especially for your head and face.
Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
Although the sun is lower in winter, there is still a very real risk of UV exposure. UV exposure can significantly contribute to skin aging.
Sun exposure breaks down collagen and speeds up:
- Lines and wrinkles
- Age spots
- Skin laxity
Even if you aren’t spending time outdoors, you should still protect your skin with sunscreen. More than 50% of UVA rays can penetrate glass, and if you’re within 7 feet of a window, you’re exposed to them.
Computer screens can also be a source of light radiation. So slather on that sunscreen, whether you’re working in the yard or on your PC.
Watch Out for Signs of Over-Exfoliation
If dry skin is causing flakiness, it can be tempting to go hard on the exfoliating products. But over-exfoliating can make your skin even more irritated, dry, and red.
If your skin is feeling sensitive, hold back on the exfoliation and focus on moisturizer instead.
Use These Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy in Winter
Winter can be tough on your skin, immune system, and cardiovascular function. Leverage these health tips to help you combat the drying effects of winter, keep your body in peak condition, and avoid cardiac event risks.
Staying safe and healthy in winter doesn’t have to be hard; you just need the right routine. If you’ve yet to discover the perfect skincare routine, we’ve got you.
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If you’re tired of empty promises in pretty packaging, shop the Particle skincare range for products that are backed by science.