As many of us are already beginning to experience the frigidness of winter, it's common to start noticing the physical effects that winter has on our bodies. In many winter climates, the dry air and lack of sunshine can negatively impact our skin, hair and even overall wellbeing. Here are some ways to keep the winter from wreaking havoc on your health.
1. Take zinc.
Winter is prime time for cold and flu season. Zinc may be able to slightly reduce the amount of time a cold lasts and help to lessen the severity of symptoms. Taking zinc at the onset of symptoms may be able to provide some benefits. According to Prevention magazine, using zinc lozenges may be able to aid with preventing the cold virus from accelerating and making a home in your airways, causing you to become sick.
2. Moisturize your skin.
Arid winter air is a common culprit of dry, cracked and flaky skin. With a lack of moisture in the air comes extreme dryness, which can cause your skin to become red, itchy and irritated. During winter, it's extremely important to step your moisturizing game up a notch, reaching for heavier products than you would during the spring and summer. Lotions and body creams that are specifically formulated for dry skin and contain nourishing ingredients like jojoba, green tea and chamomile can help saturate your skin with intense hydration.
3. Keep hair hydrated.
Hair often becomes dry, brittle and staticky in the winter, so it's important to fight those effects with a nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Those with ingredients like shea butter can be particularly beneficial in helping to condition hair so it is less likely to dry out and lose crucial moisture. The richness of shea butter is great to use on normal hair and can help keep it soft and lustrous.
4. Get vitamin D.
Cloudy, gray skies work against you in the winter, as they are devoid of vitamin-D-providing rays of sunshine. Since it's likely you'll be holed up indoors for a good portion of the winter, your vitamin D levels may start to wane. If you're deficient in vitamin D, you may experience symptoms such as aches and pains in your bones, a low mood, head sweating, gut trouble and weight gain, according to Dr. Mercola. Taking a vitamin D supplement can help replenish your levels.
5. Avoid germs.
Keeping your hands free from germs is important all of the time, but particularly more so in the winter when you're at an increased chance of catching a cold or the flu. When washing your hands, however, it's important to not scrub them too much, as soap and water can cause drying effects and create chafed, chapped hands. Additionally, antibacterial gels can cause intense drying, so it's best to avoid them as much as possible. After washing your hands with lukewarm water, make sure to use a moisturizing hand cream to hydrate your skin's protective barrier and prevent against redness, cracking and even infection.
6. Fight winter depression.
With the changing seasons and less sunlight, some people experience depression related to the seasons, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The Mayo Clinic describes SAD as a type of depression that often occurs in the fall or winter and manifests through symptoms such as hopelessness, lack of energy, lost interest in favorite activities, difficulty sleeping, sluggishness and difficult concentrating, among others. To combat SAD, options like light therapy, psychotherapy or medications are often recommended. Staying busy and active in well-lit environments may also be able to provide some support in preventing against seasonal affective disorder.
This winter, make sure you keep your body and mind in great overall condition. Stock up on your favorite supplements and wellness products at eVitamins, and have a healthy day!