Alas, winter is here! Today in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, we brace ourselves for the ‘Storm of the Century’! Rumor is, that we should expect anywhere between 12 and 24 inches of snow if not more!
Big deal huh!
To residents of the Midwest and Alaska, maybe not, but to most natives of the DC Metro area, definitely a big deal!
‘They’ say what you don’t know, won’t hurt you, but I beg to differ!
- In this case, ‘they’ are wrong! When it comes to winter, what you don’t know may very well be the difference between seeing today and seeing another winter!
‘They’ also say that knowledge is power!
- And in that regard, ‘they’ are right!
So let’s ‘power up’ and combat any possibility of the winter blues, depression, obesity, sickness and ‘what have you’ this winter, shall we?
Mission #1: Boost Positive Moods
- It is no secret that we obtain limited sunlight exposure during the winter months.
- The problem with that is our happiness greatly depends on the sun…..literally!
Let me explain……
- Our brain typically secretes a chemical, the hormone serotonin.
- Serotonin, also known as the ‘happy hormone’, greatly influences how wonderful a person feels. It helps to regulate our moods, calm our tempers and relieve depression.
- Since its production is greatly influenced by sunlight, doesn’t it makes sense now that are prone to depression during the winter months?
- You see, in the winter, when sunlight is limited, we do not produce as much ‘happy hormone’ as we otherwise would in the summer time, so we are not as happy as we typically would be in the summer time!
- But, you know what ‘they’ say, “If the mountain won’t come to you, then you must go to the mountain”!
- Modus Operandi: Take advantage of as much outdoor sunlight as you can during the winter months, but don’t forget your winter regalia, sunscreen and sunglasses while you’re at it!
- Something to think about: Install larger windows in your home to invite more natural light and as a result more positive energy.
Mission #2: Body Temperature Homeostasis
- One of the biggest challenges of winter is the inevitable fluctuation environmental temperature and its effect on your body.
- One moment, you are outdoors where it is freezing, and the next moment you are indoors where it is nice and ‘toasty’!
- These temperature changes are extremely harsh on our bodies and make us highly susceptible to sickness.
- In this Mission #2 therefore, it is key that we find a way to maintain our internal body temperatures at a stable state, irrespective of how cold or hot it is in the surrounding environment.
- Modus Operandi: Dress in layers so that you can self-regulate your body temperature, by either adding layers or taking layers off!
- Also wear clothes made from moisture wicking fabric to prevent chills.
- Something to think about: Make sure that your home is properly insulated and any leaks are sealed so as to keep any draft outside, where it belongs!
Mission #3: Battle the Germs!
- Somehow, germs have a ‘field day’ during the winter months. They are everywhere!
- The fact that we are all bundled up during the winter months doesn’t help. Instead that just makes it very easy for the little microscopic critters ‘to hitch a ride’ home with us via our ‘winter regalia’!
- Once they enter to our homes, they set up shop on our door knobs, remote controls and appliances to name a few!
- The worst offenders are the microorganisms that we cannot see, bacteria, fungi and viruses which love to ‘play house’ in our ventilation systems……and patiently wait for an opportune moment to attack our respiratory systems!
- We are more susceptible to respiratory diseases in the winter time because we breathe in more recycled air and less fresh air as our heating systems work overtime on to keep our homes warm.
- Modus Operandi: Be vigilant about disinfecting any surfaces in your home, as well as washing your hands and clothes frequently.
- Every now and then, there will be a fairly nice day even during the winter months, so take advantage of it and allow some fresh air into your home.
- Something to think about: Consider cleaning your air ducts and dryer vents and also having HEPA filters installed to improve the quality of air that you and your loved ones breathe in.
Mission #4: Boost Your Immunity through diet
- Despite the fact that limited sunlight deprives our bodies of certain key vitamins and minerals during the winter months, the good news is that we can replenish these via the foods that we eat.
- Also, irrespective of the fact that our bodies are relatively more susceptible to illness during the winter months (as discussed in Mission #3), there are several prophylactic measures that we can employ to award ourselves the upper hand.
- Modus Operandi: Diet, exercise and prophylactics may sound cliché, but they really are the only way!
- Ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” Well,….. lay off the fries if you don’t want to look like a fry! Cut back on the carbs and load up on vitamin rich foods of assorted colors instead. The more the colors you ingest, the more protected you will be. You can’t go wrong with leafy greens, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. And if you can’t handle milk, don’t forget to throw in a different Vitamin D source.
- Oh, and while you’re at it, a vitamin C supplement is not a terrible idea.
- And finally throw in a probiotic, will you?
- What better excuse is there to indulge in your favorite yogurt!
- Something to think about: Don’t forget to exercise! Whatever works for you is ideal.
Tidbit #5: Stay Hydrated
- The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it has been charged with the massive responsibility of protecting us from microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- It also helps regulate body temperature and permits us to experience the unique sensations of touch, heat and cold.
- Now, that should never be taken for granted!
- So, sun or no sun, heat or no heat, our bodies still need water!
- Water is a major component in every cell of the human body!
- During the winter months, blustery winds, freezing outdoor temperatures, extreme indoor temperatures all take an exceptional toll on our bodies…..especially on our skin!
- And it is our responsibility to ourselves and our skin to protect it against the potential brutality of the winter elements!
- Modus Operandi: Be good to yourself because you deserve it, and stay hydrated!
Wishing you a safe and happy winter season from Triangle Legacy, because we care!
For a free consultation and estimate, please contact us Toll Free at 1-800-830-3324.
We currently service the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.