1. Get Outside

It is so easy to avoid the outdoors when it’s cold. No matter what time of year, fresh air is so important. Try parking your car a little further from the grocery store, running an errand by foot or taking a short walk outside. Or, try a new outdoor activity like cross country skiing or ice skating. Always remember to bundle up! Once you get moving and breath in that air, your body will be happy!

2. Eat Your Greens

In the winter, it is so easy for us to forget about raw veggies and greens altogether. The nutrient density of hearty greens like kale, collards and swiss chard is so high and should not be forgotten! Find some new ways to incorporate greens into your winter foods like in this kale pesto which would be great on a homemade pizza or on your favorite pasta dish. Try blending your greens in a sauce or adding them into soups and stir fries! Make a commitment to eat raw greens too. Try putting warm roasted veggies on a bed of raw salad greens. The salad will be warm but you are getting all of the goodness from raw greens. Make sure to follow us on Pinterest to get more recipe ideas!

3. Boost Your Immunity

It is so much easier to get sick in the winter! Our body temperatures are fluctuating in such extreme ways. It is necessary to keep our immune system strong during the cold months. One of the most important tips is to get enough rest. Getting extra sleep in the winter will keep you healthy and get you energized for spring. We can take a tip from the bears, can’t we?!? Create your own version of hibernation and get those Z’s. In addition, immune-boosting foods make a big impact. Try visiting the deli at the West End Greenstar where you can order a freshly made juice to order. The Immunity Juice is amazing. Packed with carrot, orange, apple, ginger and garlic. And for the more hardcore healthy nut, a shot of fresh wheatgrass will always give you a boost. There is also a ton of citrus in stock right now. Get those vitamins in!

photo 1

4. Exfoliate & Moisturize Your Skin

Is there anything worse that dry, itchy winter skin? Well, probably. But it is pretty irritating! Take the winter months to nourish yourself by taking some extra care of that skin of yours! Exfoliating makes a huge difference, try using a dry skin brush (available in the wellness section) before you shower. Or, treat yourself to Balance Aromatherapy’s Sugar Scrubs: they are just perfect. The coarse grains of the sugar exfoliate and the moisture from an essential oil blend leaves your skin moisturized! OR try using a thicker moisturizer than you’re used to. Anything based in thicker oil, like shea butter, is great. Try Kreyol Essense’s Palma Shea Chokola Souffle. Both of these products are also available in the wellness department…and they are made by local people!photo 3  photo 4

5. Take Vitamin D

Lets face it, we are indoors so much more in the winter. As mentioned above, getting that fresh air is important. But, no matter what, we are naturally missing out on the daylight in these months. Our bodies are missing out on the Vitamin D that the sun gives us. Now, any supplement is not giving us as much as you would find in nature, but it is a start. Many people are Vitamin D deficient and don’t even know it. There are a lot of symptoms to look out for including a foggy brain and fatigue. A little can go a long way. Our Greenstar brand Vitamin D3 is available in the wellness department. Buy the smaller bottle and take one everyday for one week. If it doesn’t make a difference for you, stop. For those who are deficient, it should make a big impact in only a few days. Why not try it out?photo 2

6. Stay Active

Staying active is just harder in the winter. We are cold and tired and just want to go home at the end of the day. Keeping up your exercise routine, indoors or outdoors, is crucial for fighting the winter blues. Exercise boosts your endorphin levels, which helps prevent depression. If exercise is not part of your daily routine currently, try going for a walk a few times a week. If you would like to stay inside, some gentle yoga and stretching is a great place to start. Or, go dancing! There is nothing better to get the body moving and to put a smile on your face. Check the Ithaca Times event schedule to see where there is music playing and get moving!!

***All of these tips are based on experience and opinion. If you are unsure about making big lifestyle changes that may affect your health, please consult a doctor or health professional! ***
Samantha Abrams is a local entreprenuer. She is the co-founder of Emmy’s Organics, a vegan and gluten-free food manufacturer based in Ithaca. She is a self proclaimed health and wellness junkie and loves to share her wellness adventures and inspire others. She is an avid exercise queen and hardcore salad-eater!