Dayton Kingery on the value of winter wellness

As the weather gets colder, the nights draw in and there is less daylight it can be hard to  either start or maintain a holistic wellness plan.  The reality is, during these times doing so is even more important.  Add COVID-19 with its restrictions on movement and human interaction into the mix and you have even more reason to push yourself.  We are now facing an increased need for a strong immune system.

The good news is, daunting as this prospect may seem, it is actually manageable. And one need not feel overwhelmed even if they are attempting to start a wellness program.  It can be done.  These three do/don’t points are important to remember:

·         Do not set unrealistic goals,

·         DO go slowly and

·         DO be determined.

There are two main parts to this: food and exercise.  First we will look at food.  Try to keep as much fresh produce in the house as possible.   When shopping, grains and pulses should make up a large proportion of one’s list.  For those true meat lovers, try to move toward poultry and away from fatty, red cuts of meat. 

Some people claim they just hate vegetables.  There are so many different ways of preparing vegetables however, that there really should be something for everyone.  If one does not like them raw, cook them in a soup. There is little that is more comforting than a hearty mushroom-barley vegetable soup.  Once that is in the fridge, it can ward one off the temptation of grabbing a bag of chips when the salty craving strikes.

There is no doubt that exercise can be more challenging now that we are told to stay indoors.  On the flip side, it can be helpful to those just starting out on an exercise regime.  Grab a pedometer and initially begin with a small goal of 5,000 steps per day.  Every hour, stand up and make sure you have done at least 250 steps.  Slowly build it up.

Yes it is hard.  Yes it is cold. And yes COVID-19 is hurting everyone. But just by making some small changes in one’s lifestyle things can actually get better. Take care of yourselves this winter; you’re worth it.