Winter Wellness in Texas.  Here in Frisco, we don’t exactly have the type of winter that justifies total hibernation. But after the weather we had this past few weeks, we Texans are still feeling that winter chill.   So we have come up with 4 easy ways to nourish your body and soul this winter instead of just getting through it!

Winter is actually my (Madi – Front Desk Associate; Express Chiropractic of Frisco) favorite season. It’s not a popular opinion–there is plenty to dislike. Puffy coats, thick gloves, and icy rain don’t exactly say fun and comfort. But there are some things to like. The fact that we don’t have to sweat involuntarily while just trying to get to our cars, for example. Let’s just say there’s a reason I’m glad to be eight and nine months pregnant in the coldest months of the year.

Winter has historically been a season of survival and “just getting through to spring.” But it doesn’t have to be! Below are a few simple ways to thrive instead of survive this winter.  Below are some winter wellness tips to help ease the freeze.

  • Winter Wellness Tip #1 – Cook & eat warming whole foods.

This is one of our favorite things about winter–comfort food! After we eat our weight during the holidays, it can be tempting to stick with those portion sizes and types of foods. But comfort food doesn’t have to be eaten in excess, AND it can be stuffed full of the nutrients we need, and our body loves. Try one of the recipes below this season–and yes, you MUST eat them on the couch while wrapped in a warm blanket, watching the fire burn.

  • Winter Wellness Tip #2 –Keep up (or pick up) an exercise routine.

I know, I know. The last thing you want to do when curled up under the covers is getting out of bed to work out. Mostly, you’re feeling lazier than ever. Tough luck, my friends. Exercise is always one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it’s also extra important during the winter. 

We find that the easiest way to make sure we keep up our routines through the winter is to alter them slightly. Typically enjoy running outside but can’t stand the chill? Invest in a home treadmill OR visit a gym where you can borrow theirs. If you KNOW that stationary biking indoors just isn’t the same as your regular early morning rides, it’s time to start shopping for some cozy winter gear. Athletic jackets, gloves, headbands, and more exist for this reason!

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If you don’t normally exercise or changing what you do isn’t appealing, that’s okay too! Winter is also an excellent time to try something new. When I (Madi – Front Desk Associate; Express Chiropractic of Frisco) moved up here from Houston, I was amazed at the amount of good hiking and biking trails that exist and by the number of locals who had no idea they existed. My parents introduced me to several awesome spots in Grapevine, but we quickly learned there are parks all over.

I highly recommend searching your area for hiking trails using the app “All Trails” and seeing what you find. Bundled up winter hikes and bikes with pretty views have become my favorite way to sweat without even noticing I’m sweating.

The best winter exercise gem, though, are the actual gyms. Indoor exercise never has to change with the weather and doesn’t require any extra gear. Yoga Studios, cycling studios, barre studios, dance studios, kickboxing studios, and plain old exercise gyms are all open year-round AND are temperature regulated. Most of them offer trials or drop-ins, so there’s no commitment. Give a few different things a try this winter season. You truly NEVER know what might be enjoyable to you.

  • Winter Wellness Tip #3 – Protect your largest organ–your skin.

Nothing says winter like chapped lips and cracked knuckles–but no more. It may feel like a never-ending cycle keeping up with your skincare this season, but it’s so worth it for the added comfort. Why suffer through it when there are easy solutions?! First and foremost, attack those chapped lips. Find your favorite lip balm (Chapstick, Burts Bees, Carmex) and carry it with you all the time. When you’re already chapped, you may need to reapply every hour. Typically, I aim for every few hours when I notice they’re feeling dry.

Another critical area of focus is, of course, classic lotion. Travel lotion works for your purse, pocket, or office desk. At home, a big tub of your favorite scent. It can also be extremely relaxing to apply lotion–it’s a great way to wind down at the end of the day or take a pause during your workday. Personally, my hands are ALWAYS dry. But my husband needs to work on his ashy knees (Madi – Front Desk Associate; Express Chiropractic of Frisco). It’s always good to apply all over your body, but soon you’ll learn which areas of your skin need the most attention and won’t have to use so much.

Finally, humidifiers can be a lifesaver during the winter months. You may not know it, but your heater is sucking the moisture out of the air in your house every minute. Humidifiers can keep that moisture up, allowing your home air AND skin to avoid drying out. There are many different kinds, and you’ll be able to find the type that works for your family and home!

  • Winter Wellness Tip #4 – Watch your mood.

We could do an entire post on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the many ways people feel a mental health decline during the winter. But the biggest thing to remember is that YOU know yourself best. If you feel sad, depressed, overly tired, or moody this winter, don’t ignore it. Ask for help before it becomes a real problem. A few lifestyle changes, support from family, or a trip to a local counselor may be all you need to get back to feeling like yourself!

Increasing Vitamin D levels can also help boost immunity and reduce the winter woes. You can get vitamin D by spending more time in the sun (when it shows up), eating certain foods, or taking a supplement.

I could go on and on about how to enjoy instead of dread winter, but these four really stand out in my mind, and hopefully now yours. Comment below with some of your winter wellness tips to add to the list!