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Tips For a Healthy Cold Weather Season

Tips For a Healthy Cold Weather Season

The transformation of seasons always seems to usher in other lifestyle changes -- whether it's setting a weight loss goal, following a different routine or just taking on a new list of chores around the house. While you might be able to avoid raking the yard, the approach of winter is a good time to think about the importance of your own health. In fact, old man winter wouldn't feel quite so old if he followed this sage advice.

Exercise Every Day

The brisk, refreshing weather is one of the best reasons to get outdoors. Thirty minutes of activity a day keeps your heart strong and body resistant to illness. Kick start a walking routine by buying a new, good-fitting pair of walking shoes. Take in the autumn colors and enjoy the cool air.

Reap the Season's Harvest

A kitchen's warmth is welcome during the winter with the smell of seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, apples, pears and plums. These are typically plentiful in grocery stores during cold-weather months and often specially priced.

Cook Well on Cookware

Cooking on quality, nonstick cookware helps you enjoy healthy meals since it requires very little oil for cooking, according to the Cookware Manufacturer's Association (CMA). The organization recommends using spices and fresh herbs instead of butter, heavy sauces or dressings for enhanced taste that reduces fat or calories in a meal. When baking, CMA suggests using low-sugar and whole-grain recipes to reduce calories and increase fiber intake.

Water to the Wise

Drink plenty of water, particularly when you are thirsty. It is generally recommended by health professionals to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water each day.

Declare Germ Warfare

Our immune systems are most challenged during the coldest months of the year. Ward illness away by washing your hands frequently, even after blowing your nose or sneezing. And, avoid rubbing your eyes to keep germs from entering through this vulnerable area.

Doctor, Doctor

Consider scheduling your annual checkups at the first of the year so that you'll be able to keep track of them more easily. Don't forget the twice yearly cleaning visits with your dentist, too. Often, doctors' offices schedule months in advance, so the first sign of cooler weather could be a helpful reminder to plan those checkups. And, get a flu shot if recommended by your doctor.

Sleep Tight

Use the setting sun as a reminder to get a good night's sleep. Tuck in earlier during fall and winter to get plenty of rest, which in turn keeps you healthy and sharp.