Cold-schmold, here’s how to warm up to winter
Yes, it’s chilly but the colder months can be a perfect time to reflect, recharge and rest. We ask the experts how to make the most of winter.
Someone wise once said there’s no such thing as bad weather, it’s what you make of it.
So rather than squeal about the chill, here are some tips on how to snuggle into winter’s warm embrace.
Pull on your sexy socks
It may not look sexy but there is an erotic benefit to wearing socks, We-Vibe resident sexologist Christine Rafe says.
“There’s some research that suggests having warm feet increases the likelihood of an orgasm,” Christine says.
“(Having warm feet) supports a sense of feeling comfortable and secure and activates the parasympathetic nervous system (our rested, relaxed state).
This allows for a much greater ability to experience pleasure and orgasm.”
Plus, sock wearers are quicker to fall asleep than those who go barefoot.
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Heat your veg
Swap your raw vegie poke bowls for steamed or cooked vegies, according to Chinese medicine practitioner Dr Peter Mejia.
“Steaming vegetables helps release calcium, which is good for bone health,” Dr Mejia says.
“Some vegies are also more easily absorbed once cooked — such as broccoli and cauliflower.
“They’re high in vitamin C, so great for the immune system.”
Dose up on cod liver oil
“If you’re going to take one supplement this winter to stay healthy make it a daily dose of cod liver oil,” Dr Mejia says.
“Cod liver oil contains vitamin A — vital for immune system function, cellular growth, eye health, and reproduction.
“It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease blood clot formation and reduce inflammation in the body.”
What makes cod liver oil stand out from other immune-boosting supplements is its high vitamin D content — low levels are linked to poor immunity.
Spring into action
“Chop up spring onions and sprinkle them over your winter dishes,” nutritionist Sally O’Neil says.
“They’re packed with essential nutrients, fibre and contain sulphur, which supports liver detoxification pathways.
“The antibacterial and antiviral properties make it a great whole food to tackle colds and flu.”
Prepare to be motivated
The fitter you are, the less likely you are to catch a cold, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
While leaving your warm, toasty bed to exercise when it’s still dark outside can be a struggle, having your gear ready to go can help ensure you hit the track.
“Before you hit the sack, lay out your training clothes, shoes, socks, water bottle and headphones,” Kate Kraschnefski, head of compliance and training at the AU, US, UK and Nordicn Institute of Fitness, says.
“The less you need to think about in the morning, the less of an obstacle to training.”
Run for fun
You might find if you set a fitness goal, you’ll be more likely to stick to training plan.
Establishing a good fitness base through winter means you’ll be ready to smash a PB for one of the big running events in spring.
“Winter is a great time to sign up to a running event with your friends and have something to train for to keep you motivated,” Flow Athletic director Ben Lucas says.
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Stand up to the cold
“Stand-up paddleboarding is traditionally considered a summer sport, but we live in a country where it generally doesn’t get too cold,” Red Paddle Co ambassador and Move For Mental Health founder Kylianne Farrell says.
“It’s a great body workout, but also a proven way to help your mental health, being outside in nature.”
Shock your system
Join the growing trend of people plunging themselves into ice-cold baths — known as the Wim Hof method.
“One study found that those who regularly practised the Wim Hof method boosted their nervous system and immune system by encouraging the body to release anti-inflammatory responses,” Soak Bathhouse chief executive and co-founder Alexis Dyson says.
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Heat yourself up
A study in the Journal of Human Kinetics reported that a sauna session can reduce your chance of colds and flu due to a stronger immune system.
Feelgood Nation founder Michael Nguyen explains that infrared saunas use infrared light to heat your body and can help boost your immune system and provide relief from aches and pains.
Be hygge happy
Embrace the Scandinavian tradition of “hygge” and make yourself warm and cosy at home.
“Enjoy a ceremonial cacao,” health and nutrition coach Tracey Soltys says.
“Cacao is rich in feel-good antioxidants (and) magnesium and releases endorphins in the pleasure centres of our gut and brain.”
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Stew on it
“Soups, stews and slow-cooked meals made with broth, meat and lots of veg are great for your gut, especially if recovering from illness,” naturopath Dr Sarah McKenzie says.
“Add lots of ginger, garlic and onion for bug-killing action.
“Include fermented vegies like sauerkraut or kimchi; as a probiotic they provide fibre, nutrients and increase levels of good bacteria in your gut.”
Worship the sun
“Sun salutes are a simple series of movements that warm you up and energise you quickly, especially as it includes a back bend (upward facing dog),” CD Movement founder Charlotte Dodson says.
Repeat the series two to five times to gain maximum benefits and to keep the blood circulating.
Yoga engages your muscles and your mind but doesn’t need to be strenuous, Charlotte says.
For more fun tips to love winter, pick up your free copy of The House of Wellness winter edition.
Written by Charmaine Yabsley.