When the colder seasons start to come around, it can be easy to let go of your healthy living aspirations. It may become harder to motivate yourself to get outdoors to exercise, and it can certainly be more tempting to choose comfort foods over nutritious dishes.
Although it may be hard to do, taking extra care of yourself during this time of year is important for a number of reasons!
First of all, colds and flu are much more prevalent at this time of year — meaning that your body needs all the help it can get to keep your immune system function up. Secondly, letting your exercise schedule slide can make it much harder to get back into it when you are feeling up to it again. And thirdly, prioritising your physical and mental well-being is essential at any time of year!
Furthermore, taking care of your body through exercise and your diet is key to protecting the health of your bones. And this is something that deserves your attention all-year round.
One of the most important ways in which you can protect the health of your bones is with the food that you choose to consume.
Eating for strong bones is key to your ongoing health and wellness. Doing so can help to protect against nutrient deficiencies, which can cause the onset of certain health conditions.
As we know from a previous blog post, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K are among the most important things to consider when eating for bone health.
Adults should consume 700mg of calcium daily, and this is certainly possible with a balanced and varied diet.
Aim to include the foods on the following list regularly:
- Soya Beans
You can also opt for foods that have been fortified with calcium, such as plant-based milk alternatives and bread.
Adults should aim to consume between 10 and 20mg of vitamin D per day. Click here to learn more about vitamin D.
Finally, adults should aim to consume around 100mg of vitamin K per day. Click here to learn more about vitamin K, as well as other macro and micro nutrients.
If you usually exercise outside, such as running, cycling, or playing team sports, then it can be much harder to continue with these things when the weather outside is bad. Also, if you usually go to the gym to exercise, then you still might not feel up to it as the darker days can zap your energy and leave you feeling as though you need more time to rest.
Exercising at home is a good solution to this, as it means you can still move and challenge your body without having to find the extra time and motivation to get outdoors.
Sticking to a workout schedule throughout the winter is important for your bones and your body. Physical exercise helps to decrease the rate at which the body experiences natural bone loss. Working to build the strength of the muscles is also helpful, and it's a good idea to do some kind of moderate - intense physical activity at least two or three times a week.
Good examples of activities to do are:
- Gardening (such as digging)
The key here is to get moving and to find the level of exercise somewhat difficult.
If you are already aware that you have a bone condition or related health problem, such as osteoporosis, then taking extra care of yourself at this time of year is essential.
If you live in an area where you are likely to experience snow and ice, then your chance of an injury and accident is possibly increased. Making sure that you protect against this when you go out is important, such as by choosing shoes that are suitable for the weather and taking a walking aid with you if you know that you need one.
Getting an adequate amount of rest is also a good idea, as you may then feel more physically able to get on with each day.
Taking care of the health of your bones is really a simple combination of eating well and exercising often, and these are two things that you should prioritise always. Not just for your bone health, but for countless other reasons too!
Also, remember, if you do experience a problem with your bones, such as a break or fracture, then it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment as soon as possible.