HEALTHY HEART BLOG

Tips to stay motivated and healthy in the colder months

Tips to stay motivated and healthy in the colder months

It is important to stay motivated and healthy in the colder months. During winter there are lots of things many people love such as snow, hot chocolate and wearing their favourite snuggly clothes. Unfortunately, there are less desirable aspects of winter, like blizzards, overcast skies and darkness earlier in the day. These seasonal changes and other external factors that you’re not looking forward to can sometimes have a serious impact on your health. 

Here are some tips to help you prevent your health from suffering at the hands of this change in seasons.

Monitor your health
This is especially important if you suffer from a chronic illness. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your wellbeing so the change in seasons doesn’t negatively impact your wellbeing. For example, if you have a heart problem when doing activities in the snow take your time and have frequent rest breaks. Keep track of how you’re feeling so you don’t overdo it. Winter is also a season where people can sometimes let their good habits slide in favour of less healthy ones, like overeating or skipping the gym on cold mornings. Don’t let these bad habits compromise you staying healthy in the colder months. Keep track of your body’s weight and composition to stay on track with your goals to help you stay as healthy as possible.  

Practice self-care
It’s imperative that you’re taking care of yourself mentally as this can also have a huge impact on your physical health. Taking a night or a day once a week to pamper yourself or relax can truly make a difference. Self-care doesn’t have to mean face masks and chocolate. It can be whatever makes you feel happy, relaxed or at peace. This can be as simple as laying on the couch and reading a book, watching a series on Netflix or taking your dog for a walk around the local park. A really interesting product to help you practice self-care is to use a weighted blanket. This can help reduce stress, anxiety and aches and pains, as well as help you to relax and calm down after a long day.  

Get a restful night’s sleep
Sleep is of the utmost importance when it comes to your overall health. Not enough or too much sleep can have serious adverse impacts on your health, so getting the right amount every night is crucial. Regardless of your age and healthy habits, not getting the right amount of good sleep puts you at serious risk for cardiovascular and heart disease. The regularity of grey skies and darkness during the winter months can work against you, they tend to make people feel tired more frequently which puts you at risk of oversleeping or napping during the day and not getting enough rest at night. To help make sure you’re getting the average recommended seven to nine hours per night, ensure that your surroundings are allowing you to get a restful night’s sleep. A comfortable mattress and room temperature will enable you to relax in the evening, and ensuring that light and sound levels are all ideal for you is also imperative for getting a good night sleep.

Keep moving
Never is the desire to be a couch potato higher than during the winter when it’s cold, dark and potentially snowing outside. Despite this, it’s important to overcome that urge and stay active to remain healthy in the colder months. Lack of activity can make you feel more depressed and can also hinder your physical wellbeing. Something as simple as going to your local mall or park to walk around is highly beneficial since it gets your heart and body working and also means you are around other people too. 

Stay hydrated
Since it’s so cold outside, people might assume it’s easy to stay hydrated during the winter. However, the cold weather actually makes your sweat evaporate faster so you might not even notice you’re sweating and losing fluids. Plus, it makes you less thirsty so you’re likely drinking less fluid. The cold temperatures also make your heart work harder to compensate and regulate your body’s temperature. Winter is tricky because we don’t think we’re becoming dehydrated since there’s no heat. Therefore you must take steps to ensure you’re doing what you can to stay hydrated

Although many people dislike winter for the long nights and dark days, it is still important to maintain or start healthy habits, that will benefit you for years to come. 


Contributed by Jacob. Jacob is an advocate for men’s self-care and finds great importance in educating men on wellness. Wellness to Jacob mean working equally on his outward and inward self. He is also a health nut who is constantly trying to better himself while also offering advice to others.

Last updated: February 7, 2020