Sunday, January 15, 2023

Top 3 Winter Wellness Tips

Top 3 Winter Wellness Tips

How lucky we are to be able to experience all 4 seasons here in Wisconsin! While living in California for a year and half doing a PT travel assignment, it didn't take long to discover that it is was ALWAYS nice outside. I actually missed experiencing the changes in seasons. After moving back to Wisconsin, I decided the only way I could make it through the winters again was to officially embrace them and make the best of what they offer, instead of shivering and complaining for 4+ months of the year! 

When there is snow outside, my family and I love to go snow-shoeing, skiing, and snowboarding. Our 11 year old LOVES to go sledding, but this winter has not provided us that opportunity...yet. We got a new concrete driveway poured this fall, so we were actually looking forward to shoveling and snow blowing now that it is all level, but we still wait patiently for that opportunity. Of course it has been cold here this winter, another seasonal attribute we have learned to embrace with our fuzzy socks and sweaters. We have committed to the flannel sheets and down comforters on our beds to help us stay warm and cozy while we rest and slumber. 

Having the chance to stay indoors this time of year, we can take the time to go "inward" to reflect on our past year, release that which no longer serves us, and refocus our priorities, while receiving fresh insights for growth opportunities. How are you spending your time enjoying this Winter? What are you doing to embrace this season? My hope for you is that you are feeling great and that your body serves you kindly all winter long. Here are the Top 3 Winter Wellness Tips to keep you moving your best through this beautiful time of year. 

1. Optimize Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is known for its role in helping regulate Calcium absorption and bone health. According to an article from National Library of Medicine"Vitamin D and its receptor are important for normal skeletal muscle development and in optimizing muscle strength and performance. Supplementation with various forms of vitamin D in older adults has mostly shown reduction in falls risk and improvements in tests of muscle performance." Who knew that boosting Vitamin D levels would be helpful for staying upright on the slippery, icy surfaces that often plague us this time of year!?! The sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, but many winter days are grey and dreary with no sunlight, sometimes several days in a row! Using a light box can help to stimulate the production of Vitamin D, as well as getting outside on sunny days, with as much skin showing as you can tolerate out in the cold. Eating foods that are high in Vitamin D can also keep us healthy at this time of year. This article lists 15 foods that are High in Vitamin D--some of my favorites are fresh fish and mushrooms. 

2. Boost Body Temperature Naturally 

Keeping yourself warm during these cold winter months can be a challenge. According to this article from Pharmacy Solutions, "foods that take longer to digest can help raise your body temperature and make you feel warmer. The medical term for this process is thermogenesis, which is the process of your body producing heat caused by food metabolizing." These warming foods include bananas, oats, ginger tea, coffee, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. More great ways to increase your body temperature while using many of your muscles at one time are by doing jumping jacks, walking, or performing this 4 Minute Workout video from Zach Bush, MD. This free workout offers a great way to increase Nitric Oxide in the body, which is responsible for body temperature regulation as well as nervous system balance. Drinking hot beverages is another way to warm you up from the inside out. Wearing natural fabrics like wool can also be helpful to keep you warm, as wool traps air pockets and helps insulate you from the cold. So many clients and I wear Smart Wool socks, which really work well to keep those tootsies warm this time of year! Cuddling up with a fuzzy blanket and a loved one tops the list of many people's favorite ways to boost body temperature naturally. 

3. Keep Walking, No Matter What! 

Walking is one of the easiest, cheapest, most convenient ways, and natural ways to achieve whole body movement, release muscle tension, ground and connect with the earth, and promote vibrant health. No matter how cold it is, how slippery it might be, or how much snow there is on the ground, it is important to keep walking throughout the winter months!  We have so many lovely lakes, parks, and neighborhoods in this part of Wisconsin, so there are ample opportunities to explore different areas, terrains, witness natural landscapes, and breathe in the various microbiomes around us to enhance our body's natural health and balance. Bundling up in hats, scarves, mittens, and warm jackets is the best way to tolerate the outdoor elements. One of the best inventions to help stay upright on icy surfaces are traction cleats for your shoes, like these Yak-Trax. These are a God-send when it comes to walking your dog, or taking a nice, brisk exercise walk, while feeling confident that you will not slip and fall. If outdoor walking is just not right for you, there are also many opportunities to walk indoors at area malls and at the Pettit Ice Arena. Maybe your office building is large enough that you can walk the halls and or stairways as you take movement breaks throughout your workday. Why not schedule a walking meeting with a client or co-worker, or meet a friend for a walk instead of a drink? Walking is the ultimate way to boost body temperature naturally, and can be enjoyed outdoors as you soak up the Vitamin D provided by the winter sunshine. What if your body is not feeling its' best while walking? You may have a movement imbalance that can be identified and corrected to make walking more enjoyable for you. I'd be happy to help you do that! 

1212 Bodyworks is now offering a FREE Walking & Balance Analysis, available at your next Muscle System Specialty Session, to the first 3 clients who mention this offer. 

While walking on the treadmill, we can identify and correct imbalances or issues with alignment, weight-bearing dynamics, and upper body balance mechanics. Call, text (414-405-3956) or email ( to claim this offer now! 

Keep Moving Well, all Winter long!


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