Listen to this article
Pop culture tells us that the winter season is all about warm, cozy fireplaces, hot chocolate, and so much more. But did you know that the downside of the chilly weather is a weaker and more fragile body? It is time for you to follow some of the best biohacks to stay fit during the winter.
Biohacks to stay fit and healthy during winter
As the temperature dips, our body tries to produce more heat to keep the body warm. Moreover, this is also the season of the common cold, which is caused by the rhinovirus in 50 percent of cases. In fact, a Yale study in 2015 stated that this virus replicates faster when the temperature is cooler, making it all the more important for us to bolster our immunity in the winter. The weather also gives way to the lethargy that makes us want to indulge in high-calorie “comfort foods” and skip our regular workouts.
Another hallmark of the winter season is the lack of sunlight, which makes a lot of people prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Not to mention, since the last few years, high pollution levels have been dominating most of the winter season in India, making matters worse.
The good news is that with the help of biohacking you can ensure you are mentally and physically ready for the winter season. If you’re new to the concept of biohacking, then here is a beginner’s guide to getting you started right in time for the crisp winter.
What is biohacking?
Biohacking, often called “do-it-yourself biology”, involves using small, incremental lifestyle changes to augment the body’s performance. These actionable changes, referred to as biohacks, are easy to sustain and require very little effort. With the help of biohacks, you can get fitter, have better focus and concentration, perform better at work and at play, and do a lot more.
Here are 4 biohacks to prep your body for the winter:
1. Drink green tea every day to keep your body warm
Keeping the body warm and building immunity during the winter season can help you prevent the cold and flu. The Yale study also suggested that people should keep warm, and even cover their noses, to avoid catching a common cold. Building your immunity is vital for two reasons:
*Your body needs to fight viruses
*Your body needs to make antibodies so that it remembers how to handle the virus in the future.
You can aid your body’s natural process by drinking two to three cups of green tea every day. Green tea is packed with flavonoids and EGCG ( antioxidants) shown to enhance your immune function. It also contains amino acids like L-theanine that aid in the production of T-cells, i.e., the infection-fighting compounds in your immune system.
Can’t stand the way green tea tastes?
Enhance its flavour by squeezing a lemon into it, which will also help you get your daily dose of immune-system-boosting vitamin C.
2. Invest in an air humidifier for the sake of your respiratory health
Apart from the crisp, cold air, winter is also associated with smog. Research suggests that smog, which is nothing but fog laden with pollutants, can lead to many respiratory and heart ailments across ages. Using air humidifiers can not only improve indoor air quality, but also prevent your eyes, nose, and upper respiratory tract from drying out—thus reducing your risk of respiratory tract infections.
3. Follow this 5-exercise indoor regimen for good physical and mental health
Getting out of your warm, comfortable bed to exercise in the cold outdoors can be a daunting task. Instead of skipping your workout altogether, exercise from the comfort of your living room. Just do these five indoor exercises—kettlebell swings, squats, burpees, pushups, and step-ups with a reverse lunge—at home for 30 minutes to meet your daily quota of aerobic exercise. Exercising in the winter months will keep you happy and energized, while also improving your endurance and keeping your heart healthy.
4. Eat yoghurt to keep your vitamin D levels up
We know that soaking in the sunlight is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. However, when sunlight is in short supply in the winter months, you can keep your quota up by consuming yogurt that has the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system and boosts the body’s natural defenses against infections. Yogurt with these bacterial cultures stimulates your immune system and helps you fight disease. However, make sure you consume plain yogurt and not the flavoured variants, which usually contain preservatives and are high in sugar.
You cannot avoid the winter, but with these four biohacks you can ensure your body is ready for the teeth-chattering cold, smog, and everything else that is a part and parcel of this season