“Baby it’s cold outside” is a common quote used when the leaves start disappearing and the snow starts falling, but how can this affect your body? I’m not sure about you, but just about everything in my body starts drying out… my eyes, my skin, my lips, my hair… EVERYTHING! Being a native of south Florida and currently living in Michigan after being completely starstruck by the first snow fall I shortly realized that winter is a lot more than hot chocolate and snow angels. I no longer could just last minute run to the gym, it now required planning. And the term hibernation or freshman 15 quickly translated into a reality. I’m still understanding the idea of what it means to be staying healthy during the winter, but here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
Tea will literally be your holy grail within the winter. An iced version is great for sipping year round, but tea has so many more benefits than being a warm drink to wrap your hands around. Depending on which tea you drink, it can be a healthier source of caffeine (black or green teas have the most). Green tea is also extremely detoxifying and is a natural anti-inflamatory. Everyone loves a pumpkin spice latte, but you can get the same warmth and delicious flavor out of say a pumpkin flavored tea with a fraction of the sugars and calories. Lastly, nothing helps you unwind better after a long day at the office or in the library then tea and a movie.
Use an in-shower moisturizer
Absolutely nothing is worse than itchy or dry skin, but it is also a struggle to put on lotion and feel greasy and then try and put on you’re leggings or jeans. An in shower moisturizer conquers all! You’re skin will absorb all the moisture of a lotion, without the greasy feel. Its genius. Two that I recommend are the Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner if you are looking for a higher end product or the Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer if you want to just pick one up at your local drug store.
This is especially targeted at all of you who are living in a dorm. There will never be anything more tempting than ordering a pizza at 10 pm when you are starving because you decided to procrastinate and are now starving. But after you’ve had your dinner at a reasonable hour having fruit or even nuts in your dorm are way better than ordering in that food because you are too lazy to walk outside in the tundra to actually get food. By having a few healthy snacks in your dorm or house, you can ensure that there is always something nutritious to nibble on.
Scrub your lips then moisturize
This may sound bizarre, but using a sugar scrub on your lips in the winter will make a world of a difference. Do you ever walk outside and feel like someone poured and entire bottle of siracha on your lips because they are literally on fire from being so dry? By using a scrub this gets all the dead dry skin off of your lips and allows the new skin to absorb all the moisture from your chapstick. My favorite sugar scrub is from Fresh and its their Sugar Lip Polish but truthfully any will do. Post scrubbing my holy grail chapstick is Carmax. No matter what expensive Dior chapstick I try or drugstore brand, Carmax always does the best job.
I’m going to be honest, nothing sounds less appealing to me on a daily basis than going to the gym. Factor in freezing conditions and the gym being a mile away and not having access to a car. Now it is REALLY unappealing. But, it is still super important to me to stay in shape and to attempt to defy the odds of the Freshman 15. My best advice with this is to try and factor going to the gym into part of your daily routine, don’t make it an extra chore meaning, when you are on your way back from work or class stop there. Don’t go back to your house and then venture back out. From my experience this has the lowest success rate because then you get distracted or you realize, “Wow, running a mile on a treadmill does not sound as good as hot chocolate with marshmallows.” If you stop on your way back, you get in a great workout, and you minimize the effect of the cold since hopefully you’ll be nice and sweaty!
While I’m still only learning the ropes of how to truly live in an arctic tundra, these are a few of the things that have helped me believe I still live in a tropic paradise. So as I am sitting here in the library, green tea in hand and unraveling my scarf that has been wrapped around my neck not twice, but 5 times, because it’s negative 4 degrees outside! I hope that my trials and tribulations in the cold have helped you as much as they’ve helped me. Update to come after living here, in the tundra, for a little bit longer 🙂