During the winter it is natural to feel a little sleepier, slower and possibly less motivated.
It’s the season of stillness and conservation. It’s a period of hibernation and our time to rest, slow down and revitalize our energy. Winter is a great time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy, conserve our strength and heal on a deeper level.
During the winter, it is important to conserve our battery reserves. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter: rest, reflection, conservation and storage. The “downtime” that winter provides gives us an opportunity to slow down, check in and take account as to how our lifestyle supports or detracts from our health, and to recharge our personal ‘battery’.
It is always healthy to get some form of exercise daily but during the winter months, it is best to participate in gentler, less exerting exercises, such as, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, swimming, walking, and other low impact sports. Save the extreme exertion activities for the spring and summer months.
Here are a few easy pointers on how you can support and promote your own health this time of year:
• Sleep. As an old adage says, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.” Go to bed early and if possible, wake up after the sun appears in the morning. Extra sleep will also benefit you if feel as though you are coming down with something. If you do become ill, naps may help you recover faster.
• “C” it. Load up on Vitamin C and other multivitamins like Zinc. These can help support your health. Do some research for yourself into the health and immune benefits of Oil of Oregano.
• Water, water everywhere. Drink water. Every cell of your body requires this liquid gold to keep it lubricated and running smoothly.
• Avoid the consumption of excessively cold foods such as ice cream and iced beverages. If possible, drink liquids at room temperature (without ice). Too many cold foods, especially during the colder months, can seriously disrupt your digestion.
• Take herbs that support immune function. Astragalus, Osha root, Reishi and Shitake mushrooms are helpful. These have been used for thousands of years by acupuncturist-herbalists to help keep their clients healthy and strong.
• Come in for acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture works extremely well when you have a cold while also serving as a tune up to stimulate the healing capacity of your body. If you begin to get the sniffles, body chills, or feel under the weather, give your acupuncturist a call before your reach for the over the counter cold/flu remedies. They may be able to help!