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Make Your Winter Wonderful

Make Your Winter Wonderful

6 Tips to Keep You on Course This Season

Dr. Michael Claussen
 Dr. Michael Claussen, Family Medicine

By Dr. Michael Claussen, Family Medicine

Staying active and healthy during the winter can seem like a challenge, but when that larger goal is broken into smaller pieces – and there’s some fun in the mix, too – it seems much more doable for most of us. Here are six simple steps to help keep you on pace with your health journey:

Watch your weight and eat better

Colder temperatures and fewer hours of daylight make curling up on the couch with comfort food and a good movie tempting, but avoid making it a habit. Instead, look online for satisfying, healthy recipes and make time to exercise at least three hours each week.

Bundle up the family and get outside

Although the temperature outside has dropped, there’s still plenty of opportunity for outdoor family fun: walking and hiking are great activities that the whole family can enjoy together, and picking a new location helps keep things interesting. Snow on the ground? Let your inner kid out by making a snow fort or building a snowman (after the shoveling is done, of course).

Don’t skimp on sleep

The shorter daylight hours make it easier for most of us to hit the hay a little earlier than we do in the summer: Squeezing in 7-8 hours of sleep a night not only improves mood and reduces stress, but catching your Zs also lowers your risk for serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Protect your skin

When it comes to skin health, using sunscreen and lotion in the winter are great ways to care for your skin’s surface. But few things are better for your skin than drinking water: Not only does drinking a lot of water keep up your skin’s elasticity, but research also shows that people who drink plenty of water are less likely to develop scarring or wrinkles.

It’s not too late: Get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines

There’s still plenty of time to get vaccinated and protect yourself against the flu and COVID-19. While flu season begins in October, it can extend through May; COVID-19 variants continue to emerge, and vaccination is still the best method to fight this pandemic.

Take care: Schedule a wellness check today

Many people have put off wellness visits and follow up appointments during the pandemic. As a new family medicine provider at Valor Health, I am available and look forward to helping you and your family along your healthcare journey – call Valor Health Family Medicine at 208-365-6004 to set up an appointment today.