Here arrives the winter. It is the time of the year when the clocks go back an hour, the day gets shorter and the temperature starts to drop. Indeed, the changing weather conditions greatly affect routine outdoor activities. This change of season disrupts a part of our natural processes. You may notice changes in your allergies or sleep. Changing seasons can affect hormone production and it is normal to undergo changes in our energy levels.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways the winter season can affect our health and energy levels and what should be done to combat the illness that comes with the climate change:
Changing weather can bring on illness and allergies
As the seasons change, it’s common for flu and colds to do the rounds. When exposed to illness, our immune system has to work hard to keep us fit. Even if you manage to avoid getting sick this autumn or winter, you may experience a little low energy level.
Human body need more sleep in the cold season
Certainly, changing climatic conditions can disturb some of our body’s natural processes. At this time of the year, you may find yourself wanting to burrow under your covers. We push through with our exercise routine like waking up early in the morning for the gym compromising on that extra hour of sleep. This may negatively impact your health more than you even realize. Indeed, there are a lot of reasons why your body needs more sleep in the winter season:
• The first has to do a lot with less light and natural sleep hormone production. A lack of natural light in autumn and winter repress the release of melatonin. This is a hormone which tells our body that it’s time to doze off. Whereas, in the summer season when sunset is later our melatonin comes later.
• Since nightfall is quite earlier in winter and less light, we humans tend to be more tired in the day. So, it definitely makes sense to get some sleep instead of pushing yourself to fit in social obligations or do fitness regime.
Changes to daylight hours affect your vitamin D status
At least 80 nmol of Vitamin D is what our body needs daily. Vitamin D controls the DNA of your cells and helps control belly fat through insulin. It plays an important role in the production of pancreatic enzymes and controls the level of calcium in the blood and bone. As per the research at Creighton University, Vitamin D when mixed with calcium reduces the cancer risk by 77%.
• Vitamin D also helps a lot with depression and mood. This is particularly important during the Autumn and winter season when a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (the type of depression) occurs in individuals due to the season change. The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder consist of increased fatigue, low energy, low mood, brain fog and decreased motivation. They usually start around the same time every year in the lead up to winter season.
• It’s a common fact that we tend to absorb Vitamin D from the sun through our skin. But, only a few people realize that this can only occur in summers during the time of 10 am and 3 pm. This is because the UV sunrays found to be pretty effective in penetrating the atmosphere and our skin’s thickest layer when the sun is at its peak.
• As the seasons change, it is essential to get enough Vitamin D from food sources such as: sardines, egg yolks, mackerel and organic pork lard. Also, we cannot undermine the benefits of exercise beyond looking good. If you find it challenging to include daily movement of any kind as the seasons’ change, try to find a type of indoor exercise you can do at home like yoga or workout session.
What else can be done to nourish the body?
We should not forget that optimal health is highly dependent on getting all the vitamins and minerals we need to sustain the body’s natural processes. Such natural hormonal interchanges and reactions are placed under stress at the season change. Nutrient dense foods, prioritizing rest and seasonal produce are quite important factors for managing the energy levels as the weather changes.
Supporting your body with Vitamin C is one of the important factors to consider during the change of seasons. Also, during the autumn season you can do a lot of things to support your immune system. Try to include warming herbs, species such as: ginger and garlic which both have medicinal qualities.
Autumn is also a time to include steamed vegetables in your healthy diet chart as opposed to salads to allow your digestive system to breathe a little. It is best to eat seasonal produce by sautéing them in bone broth. Bone broth consists of healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, gelatin and proline. These are fundamental amino acids and trace minerals that work within the intestines to help seal the gut. They are easily socked, enabling them to provide cells with the direct building blocks required to heal the gut lining. Soothing and easily digestible bone broth is also good to keep the bones healthy, skin and the immune system too.
If you ever notice that your energy is less than ideal or your skin is breaking out, it may be a good time to switch to easier to digest foods. Just focus on what is in season, stock up on vegetable juices, greens and plant-based meals.
Hopefully, you will find the above mentioned information helpful to head start this season change on a healthy and positive note. In order to enhance your wellness, make sure to embrace the weather change considering changes in diet chart and other factors. Do not forget, in a healthy body, healthy mind dwells. Stay healthy no matter what the season looks like.