As the colder mornings and dark evenings set in, the lure of winter comforts can be hard to avoid. For many people, winter tends to bring out the worst in our lifestyle habits, leading to poor eating, sleeping and excess drinking. It’s not too late to avoid the trap though, and by taking steps to look after your health this winter, you can do your bit to avoid colds and flu, as well as weight gain and other consequences that come from poor winter lifestyle habits.

5 Winter Habits to Avoid


1. Oversleeping

Getting up in the morning can be difficult in winter. A comfy, warm bed is far more inviting than the cold outdoors, but it’s important that you continue with a normal sleeping routine. Did you know that 7-9 hours is all that’s recommended to stay healthy? Avoiding the snooze button will benefit your health, so start changing your sleep habits now before winter truly sets in.


2. Increasing your daily caffeine intake

A warm cup of coffee is even more tempting during the winter, and coffee shops are notorious for targeting additional customers with special edition winter drinks. Reaching for those extra cups of coffee however will only provide a temporary bit of warmth, whilst the effects of the added caffeine could last far longer. Drinking caffeine late in the afternoon or evening can help to keep you awake and leave you feeling anxious or jittery, something which nobody should have to endure.


3. Skipping exercise

It can be tempting to skip your daily run or visit to the gym when the weather outside is uninviting. However, skipping your workout too often will soon lead to laziness, and you’ll become a couch potato again before you know it. If the thought of leaving the house to exercise it too much, why not try exercising at home? There are many great workouts which you can do that require little or no equipment and are plenty of fun too! Why not purchase a DVD or browse what’s available on YouTube? You won’t regret keeping up your routine when you’re one of the people not having to start afresh at New Year.


4. Relying on comfort food

The thought of warming, comforting food can be something to look forward to on a cold winter day, but eating too much can affect your health and wellbeing. Try not to rely on convenience foods and embrace home cooking instead. There are many fantastic recipes to try which are healthy and wholesome, whilst still provide you with the feel-good factor. Another great tip is to make batches of warming, healthy dishes to freeze for those nights when you’re struggling to find the motivation to cook, helping you to leave the takeaway menus in the drawer!


5. Drinking too much

Winter can be a particularly social time of year, especially around the Christmas period. Excessive drinking can be detrimental to your health, particularly if you’re prone to binge drinking at Christmas. Drinking too much can also lead to weight gain and poor health, and the false sense of warmth that comes from alcohol can prove dangerous to those who are out and about at winter. Be sensible with your drinking and as with all pleasures in life, enjoy in moderation.

It’s important to look after your health all-year round, but in winter in particular, it can be hard to do so. Try to keep up as much of your normal routine as possible, and not let typical winter excuses prevent you from staying healthy. For more great tips on staying healthy this winter, head to the NHS website which features hearty recipes, exercise ideas and more to get you through the colder months.