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Posted by Shilpa Bhim on

Melbourne was blessed with a long, hot summer this year - we're already in April (we'll talk about that later, because where has the time gone?!) and we were still kicking back in 27 degree heat in recent days. But with the end of daylight savings, the random cold snap we had about a week ago and darker (and colder!) mornings and evenings, the inevitable is about to happen ...

winter is coming!

Personally, I don't mind winter 'cause it means lots of cute and cozy clothes, boots, coats, hats, gloves and so on. But I also tend to eat way too much, not really exercise as much as I should (it's cold, ok) annnnd I usually end up with some form of cold/flu every other week. Basically, I feel like crap all through the winter. This year, however, I've decided to get ahead of the game and have scoured the ends of the world (wide web, that is) to find the top five ways to keep fit and healthy this winter - keep on reading to find out more!

1. Stay social and keep on moving

When it's cold and miserable outside it's tempting to stay in your bed or on your couch all day long because it's warm, cozy and comfortable but more to the point - GOT season 7 is nearly here. However this can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD, aka winter blues). Which is why it's important to keep up social activities, and maintain some form of your exercise routine.

Whether you rug up and whip out for a walk with a friend or colleague on your lunch break, head to some classes at the gym, or just catch up with people over hot chocolate, dinner, or a movie, you'll be staying physically and mentally active and avoid SAD. It won't help you avoid Dave though, sadly, that one's on you.

2. Boost your diet

Most humans love to indulge in warm, hearty foods (aka junk food) during the winter - hello, hot fudge brownie! However, just because you have an itch (for junk food), doesn't mean you should scratch it. It's possible to indulge in warm, hearty foods that are healthy - think nourishing soups and stews that are packed full of veggies.

Swapping out junk food for winter fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, sweet potato, beetroot, garlic, ginger, mandarins, bananas and kiwifruit will give your body the vitamin and mineral boost it needs to stay healthy. It's also important to stay hydrated.

Cooler weather = less thirst.

However, your body still needs its average intake of around two litres of water a day to function properly.

Not only will your body feel more alive than Jon Snow (notwithstanding that time he died) as you stock up on those vitamins and minerals, you'll also look good. Remember, you are what you eat, and all those fruits, veggies and water will help keep your skin in check while it battles those harsh winter conditions (and don't forget to moisturise, that will help your skin too ...).

3. Scrub up

Life 101 taught us that washing your hands is the best way to get rid of germs. This is even more important in winter when we tend to cough and sneeze more frequently. According to the Mayo Clinic in the US, frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness as it limits the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Handy hint - sneeze or cough into your inner elbow rather than your hands as it also limits the transfer of germs while you go about your day.

Another handy hint while you're at it with the scrubbing -

show your skin some love with a good ol' fashioned coffee body scrub. We love Frank.

4. Layers, people

Ok, so this is a bit of a no-brainer but you should try to keep warm as much as possible. This is easy enough to do in the comfort of your own home with your heater and cosy blanket but what about when you head outside?

This is where layering comes in.

Wearing several light layers of warm clothing, and a cute winter coat of course, will help you battle the elements outside, and regulate your temperature inside (ain't nothing worse than wearing one super thick item of clothing only to find it's too warm for it when you reach your destination because the heaters are going full blast!)

5. Sleep like there's no tomorrow

Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on your immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to catching colds. Studies have also shown that a lack of sleep can result in a substantial decrease in white blood cells that help your body fight infections.

Seriously, who knew that something we love so much could be so good for us?!

Maintaining a regular and relaxing sleep routine will help keep those bugs at bay and ensure you feel good all winter long. Click here for more tips on how to establish a relaxing bed time routine!

Hopefully these tips will help you get through winter unscathed - I'll be giving them a go for sure. If all else fails, don't despair, at the rate this year is flying by it'll be summer again before you know it!



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