Women everywhere are sighing in relief as we stash our swimsuits away for another year. With the advent of colder weather, we can begin wearing our favorite leggings and sweaters while indulging in pumpkin spice treats. While this yearly event is much anticipated, our wardrobe switch often signifies a change in our healthy habits as we begin to settle in for the long winter season.
Suddenly, we aren’t as worried about the foods we eat, and nourishing our skin and maintaining a healthy glow becomes a distant memory. It’s easy to be misled by the dropping mercury when it comes to maintaining a health and beauty routine—even though the seasons have changed, our basic wellness needs remain constant.
The only thing that has changed is the weather and temperature, which does require us to add a few new tricks to our daily regimens. Here are seven suggestions to beat the cold and stay healthy!
1. Remember the sunblock. Colder temperatures don’t mean we can forego protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. After all, the sun is just as powerful and damaging in the colder months—in fact, snow reflects 80 percent of UVA rays, compared to just 25 percent that is reflected from sandy beaches in the summer. This requires us to be more aggressive and mindful when it comes to managing our sunscreen. If you are having a difficult time remembering to apply sunblock, look for makeup, moisturizers or lipglosses that already have SPF added.
2. Stay hydrated. Colder weather doesn’t change our bodies’ need for eight glasses of water a day. We still need hydration, because our bodies are being exposed to heaters, warm winter gear and dry arctic air. Remember to take in some extra water to keep skin healthy and sickness at bay.
3. Soak up some sunlight. The dreary days of colder weather can seriously drain our sense of mental and emotional well-being. If the change of seasons has you feeling the winter blahs, turn to nature’s energy source to help drive away the blues. Open the curtains for 15 minutes a day – or invest in an artificial sun lamp – to take advantage of the sun’s healthy benefits. Surprisingly, the sun provides 90 percent of the vitamin D our body requires which helps to protect us from disease, maintain a healthy weight, regulate mood, slow the aging process, lower blood pressure and even get a better night’s sleep.
4. Moisturize your skin. Furnaces and heaters are great modern conveniences, but the minute we switch them on, our skin begins to dry out. Heated air is notorious for drying out skin, which can lead to a whole host of uncomfortable and embarrassing problems. Some people just experience a general tightness or dryness, but for many, the skin starts to flake, crack, scale and sometimes becomes inflamed. Take proactive measures and moisturize daily during the colder-weather months to prevent painful dry skin.
5. Include yoga in your routine. When the weather outside is frightful, it might be tempting to just lounge on the couch watching feel-good holiday movies. However, even during the winter, it is essential to remain active. A perfect indoor activity during the colder months is yoga. Join a gym or take a few minutes to breathe away the stress of the day in your own living room. Just remember to dress appropriately for the season in yoga attire that is easily layered, made of light material and protective against those northern winds.
6. Dress in layers. One big mistake many of us make is to dress too warmly, especially for exercise. Overdressing increases your body heat which makes you sweat. However, the evaporation of sweat can leave us feeling chilled or dehydrated. Try dressing in layers so you can easily adjust to the fluctuating temperatures without worrying about becoming dehydrated or chilly.
7. Wash your hands frequently. The colder months and flu season go hand in hand. As the weather turns, people often stay indoors and gather in large crowds to celebrate the holidays or attend sporting events. One way to keep ourselves healthy is to wash our hands often with soap and water. Also, avoid touching your face, especially the eyes, nose and mouth where germs can enter the body easily.
What beauty or wellness tips do you have to share for beating the cold weather? Tell us in the comments below!
Cassie Brewer is a writer and professional makeup artist. Check out her website for more expert health and beauty tips!