Tip 1: Sleep is king As students we often tend to brag about how little sleep we are getting, with the intention behind this usually being to prove to our parents and peers that we are indeed working hard. However, this in no way benefits our bodies, which require adequate sleep in order to properly repair and recover. According to Human Movement Science graduate and Biokinetics Masters student, Jonah Young, a chronic lack of sleep has been strongly linked to higher risks of heart disease, kidney disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Inadequate sleeping hours coupled with alcohol consumption before sleep (which is also known to disrupt sleep patterns) are habits that need to be curbed in order to preserve or regain good health
Tip 2: Spice up your exercising Routine can be the enemy when it comes to winter exercise. A 06:00 run to LC de Villiers and back is a lot easier in February than it is in June. So when the cold is unbearable, find a workout that can be done inside. There are a plethora of free apps and websites that offer comprehensive indoor workout plans. Some of these include the Nike Training app, Hot5 by Weight Watchers, and J&J Official 7 Minute Workout by Johnson & Johnson. Young encourages students to try varying training methods such as Interval Training (HIIT exercises), aerobic training (stationary bike), and resistance/strength training (gym work).
Tip 3: Be accountable Young recommends that students find a friend who is also intent on staying healthy this winter and partner up with them. Young believes that keeping one another accountable regarding the things you eat, how often you exercise, and how much sleep you are getting, helps keep you both motivated to stay healthy.
Tip 4: Keep up the good work Surviving the winter slump is all about consistency. Being consistent in the way you sleep, eat, and exercise goes a long way to ensuring consistent health throughout and beyond winter. Use these tips as a starting point to make winter 2017 your healthiest winter yet.
Illustration: Kaylyn O’Brien.