So you’re back from break – perhaps adjusting to winter weather from a vacation or home-visit somewhere warm. And if you’re like me, you dread the realization that you now have to carry your hat and gloves on a regular basis. But with the changing of the seasons comes more than just digging out the heavy down coat and snow boots from your closet. You may also have a few more things to tend to as your body reacts to those cold temps – like dry, cracked skin, a proper supply of clothes for layering up on outdoor workouts, and the occasional bout of winter blues due to the lack of sunlight.
Fear not Terriers, for I’ve compile some tips to survive the winter woes.
Cracked. Chapped. Cut. Words that describe your hands as the days steadily ride the 30-degree temperature range. With heaters and radiators going, your skin is bound to dry out. Here are a few do’s and don’ts via WebMD for preserving your skin’s moisture:
DON’T take extremely hot showers or wash your hands too much. I understand we all want to beat the winter chill and avoid getting sick, but the extra heat from the water dries out your skin more than moisturizes it.
DO use an oil-based moisturizer as a protective layer to lock-in moisture. But be careful with your facial moisturizer, however. Be sure to buy a non-pore clogging lotion to avoid breakouts!
DON’T use strong astringents or face masks that dry out your skin. Avoid clay-based masks or face washes with alcohol. These can dry up the oils on your face.
DO wear winter gloves. Protect your hands from those 30+mph winds and keep that moisture locked in by covering up your hands when you go outside.
When it gets dark by 5:00pm, it’s easy to lose motivation and get a case of the winter blues. How can you fight the constant urge to curl up with Netflix or a book in bed?
- Wear bright colors to keep that summer-feel alive
- Take a stroll outside on sunny days to store up on your Vitamin D reserves
- Sleep regularly (7-9 hours!)
- Keep up with your workout schedule. Endorphins can do wonders when sunlight isn’t plentiful!
See more suggestions in this Huffington Post article which also has information on seasonal depression if you’re concerned that you can’t shake the winter blues.
Though this may seem like an obvious tip, wearing the right kinds of layers is far more important than just throwing a bunch of clothes on. For runners, this means wearing wick-away material that will keep the moisture off your body and kill the chill. In addition, wearing gloves while running outside is definitely better than keeping your hands tucked away in your sweatshirt sleeves. Check out this article from Active.com for a full list of recommended winter running gear.
For your “everyday wear,” a scarf and hat are essential because you lose a lot of body heat from your chest and the top of your head. Guys, I understand that a scarf doesn’t always fall in line with your winter essentials. So to keep things simple, I suggest finding a scarf that goes with whichever winter coat you wear the most. Then, you’ll never have to worry about matching and, soon enough, it’ll look like it came along with the coat in the first place.
SPREAD THE HEALTH: Prevent dry skin by moisturizing and wearing the proper clothing, layer up the right way during chilly outdoor workouts, and keep a regular sleep/exercise routine to keep spirits high.