Tuesday, 31 January 2012

WINTER HEALTH UPDATE

With the winter sales all but over and spring fashions hitting the high streets, typically UK temperatures this week are forecast to plummet. Winter 2012 seems to be finally taking us into its grip so perhaps now is a timely opportunity to flag up a few more useful tips that will help to keep us healthy and warm through the cold snap.
Exercise with yoga. This will help to give a boost to your circulation, immune system and practiced dynamically will increase your body temperature. 
Brush your skin every morning to improve blood circulation and lymphatic circulation. This increases your body temperature but also improves your level of immunity.
Root vegetable soups and stews really are one of the most warming and beneficial things we can be consuming at this time of the year. I'm completely obsessed with blitzing up all those inexpensive seasonal vegetables available now in the market and veg counters of the supermarkets.
Try adding mustard, ginger & cayenne powder to a hot bath. Add 1 tablespoon of this mixture to running bath water. This is especially helpful when you find yourself suffering with a cold or the flu and the sweating action of these warming herbs can also balance your circulation they are also valuable for 'sweating out a fever.
Ginger tea tea is a great winter warmer. Ginger is slow acting but it's warming effects tend to last longer than the powerful punch that cayenne gives. If you don't always manage to keep fresh ginger on hand in the fridge then ginger teas can be found in supermarkets in convenient tea bags. However, using the fresh root grated, gently simmered for 5-10 minutes and strained, makes a far more delicious and cost-effective tea, so if you've got the time to make it yourself - definitely the better option.
Try adding a pinch of cayenne powder to food and drink -  even a few grains mixed into foods and drinks will increase your body temperature and help your blood circulation. While initially it will seem very powerful if you use it regularly you will gradually be able to use more.
Always make sure your ankles and wrists are well covered during this cold winter weather. If these particularly vulnerable areas of your body are exposed to the cold, your hands and feet will naturally become colder too, and your whole body is soon affected so really cover them up well. Also its a really good idea when you're out and about to keep your mouth covered with a scarf or snood to prevent breathing in cold dry air which can often lead to a sore throat.
In winter layer your clothing to keep warm. At least three layers with the one closest to your skin warm and soft. Modern thermal technology as sold in retailers from M&S to Uniqlo and Gap are brilliant for this. On top of your thermals wear a padded thick layer ie woollen sweater or a fleece. This traps air which is a great insulator and finally your outer layer will help keep the insulating air within the middle layer of clothing.This outer garment obviously depends on whether you are indoors or outside whether it is wet or dry!