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As we embrace winter, our health and lifestyle adapt to the changing weather.
In this article I will talk about the changes and how it affects the body in ways that we often overlook.
Australia is deeply affected by the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and we have reached the end of La Nina which means the wetter times are behind us for now.
This means that each season may be different from the same one last year and so we must constantly adapt in different ways to achieve the best health outcomes.
Physically our needs change as we rug up with warm comfortable clothes to keep our base temperature.
We tend to lose more heat in winter through our bodies which means we may end up burning more energy just to keep warm.
Due to this, our diet must also change to reflect that.
The first thing we must look at is hydration. Being 60%-65% water, it is something our bodies constantly need to maintain homeostasis but in the winter time it can be easily forgotten as we lose less fluids through sweat.
We must ensure to consciously make the effort to drink our daily requirements of water by listening to our body's needs.
One simple way to meet the needs is by drinking 30ml-35ml per kg of your body weight. Of course, if there is exercise involved that amount goes higher.
In winter we take longer and hotter showers, which leads to a more drying effect on the skin.
Combined with low humidity and cold air, we are more likely to experience flaky or cracked skin.
The skin is not only the biggest organ but it also assists with functions of sensation, protection, heat circulation, immunity and more.
This is why we must maintain the integrity of the skin to enjoy complete health.
Hot showers or baths strip the skin of its natural oils and so moisturising with a good lotion or oil is essential to the maintenance of skin health.
We also tend to spend more times indoors which can affect the quality of air we breathe. With doors and windows closed, it is easier to be exposed to pollutants.
Therefore, it is important for our health to get plenty of fresh air in winter, while also taking the time to be outdoors and replenish our vitamin D stores.
Vitamin D is highly researched and today we understand its role in strengthening both the innate and adaptive immune system.
To prevent illness and experience faster recovery, vitamin D3 is essential to the body and sunlight is the best way to get it.
By being more aware of our body's needs we can find better ways to adapt to an evolving environment.
What changes have you made to your lifestyle during the winter? Let me know in the comments below.
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