This time around, we are looking at something vital, yet often neglected. And that is keeping yourself healthy during the winter months. It is an oddity that we men tend to get lackadaisical with our health during the period in the year when we need to stay in top form the most! So let’s do a deep dive into how to keep healthy during winter, including best practices, diets, and exercises that you can best incorporate in those biting cold days.
Why is it Important to Keep Healthy in Winter?
It goes without saying, but the wintertime is where circumstances demand you stay in top health. Everything seems to be harder to do during winter. You have fewer options, healthcare facilities may be understaffed, and even necessities might be difficult to access. This is especially true when you live in a place where it’s cold all the time (like Canada!). As such, staying healthy should be a priority.
Even when you are used to the cold, the human body cannot withstand it for very long. It is just the way the human body works. After all, we are comprised of 70% water. And you know what happens when water gets cold enough, it freezes. Although it takes extreme weather to actually turn into a human popsicle, the cold will, however, cause certain effects on your body functions.
Lethargy is the most basic effect. You will just naturally feel slow and sluggish. The cold also makes your immune system less than 100% of its peak capacity. Mucus is icky, but it also protects your nose, digestive system, and lungs from viruses. During cold weather, mucus gets weaker. It makes infections easier to get into your body.
Heat also plays a huge role in keeping healthy. An imbalance with either extreme is never a good thing. But at least with hot weather, you can cool down more readily with a cold shower (and maybe an ice-cold brew). But in the winter months, the general coping mechanism is putting on 12 layers of clothes and going to sleep like a hibernating bear! Unless you’re filthy rich, you probably do not have that luxury!
And really, a Male Matter man isn’t one to lie down and wait for the sun to melt the ice. You go out there and get your hands warm, using your own body heat and fanning the flames inside with action!
How To Keep Healthy Suggestions During Winter
There are some broad suggestions and tips that you should follow to stay healthy during winter. Some of these can apply to both men and women, while some others are specifically for the mucho macho hombres. Use whichever applies best to you:
Minimize Physical Contact – By this, we are referring to social interactions with others. This is particularly the case for people outside your immediate family. During the winter months, illnesses are much easier to transmit. It might make you look like a snob in some cases, but keep things civil. If you have to wear gloves to shake someone’s hands, do so. Or at least clean it after by carrying a hand sanitizer (just be discreet about it).
Stay Hydrated – We mentioned earlier that the body is composed of 70% water. Keeping your body hydrated means you will be replenishing that water constantly. That translates to a cleaner and more efficient flow of nutrients and toxin removal. However, this might lead to more frequent bathroom breaks.
Get Some Sleep – Although we did mention lethargy and sleepiness is a negative effect of the cold, it does not mean you should get less sleep. Having enough sleep leads to a more robust immune system. That said, “enough” is a relative term. As long as you feel fresh without oversleeping, you’re going to be in good shape. Sleeping well is a reward in itself.
Eat Healthily – This goes without saying but keeping your diet with enough greens, fruits, grains, and protein will help to strengthen your immune system. We males have to be particularly conscious of keeping protein intake up, to ensure our muscles are constantly repairing themselves. However, you also need sufficient fat. Fat provides energy and helps insulate against the cold. With that said, make sure to keep your weight in check. Additionally, fiber-rich foods are important for comfortable bowel movements and providing anti-inflammatory support.
Exercise Daily – On that note, don’t skip on regular exercises. Sure, you’ll probably have other things to keep you busy like chopping wood for the fireplace or removing the snow from the porch. But that’s not strictly exercising, and you will be exposed to the elements while doing these.
Exercising indoors will keep your muscles supple while also helping manage your weight. Cardio and walking/jogging are highly recommended. If you can handle it, jog in the snow. It builds up strength, stamina, and resistance to the weather. Boxing and martial arts indoors are both great for whole-body movement and limbers you up. I’d suggest Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle to keep you good and healthy through exercise.
Stay Clean – If there’s one problem with the cold, it’s that it makes everything susceptible to germs and bacteria staying longer. So keep surfaces, particularly tables and dining ware, clean and disinfected. That might not sound very “manly,” but it’s essential to keeping healthy during the cold months.
I get it. You don’t really feel like being as active during the winter. But it is also when your body needs it the most. Knowing how to keep healthy during the winter is one thing. Actually doing them requires a strong will. But as a Male Matter Man, you have strong willpower! Believe that! And we’ll see you next time on MaleMatter.com!