Hibernating this winter? Stay healthy

Hibernating this winter? Stay healthy

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Start filling your 2012 calendar.

Spending time with your family and friends is a perfect way to fend off the winter blues, boredom, loneliness and even more severe depression. When it’s freezing outside, host an indoor picnic with locally grown foods. When you need some fresh air, remember: New York City is a hub for exciting activities, such as ice skating at Rockefeller Center or hitting the slopes at one of New York’s ski resorts.

Nolita’s Park in New York City is a 500-square-foot indoor park that’s great for escaping the winter cold.

Be kind to your waistline.

The long stretch of parties between Halloween and the Super Bowl can stretch out your pant size. With a little self-control, there are plenty of ways that you can practice healthy holiday indulging. At parties, make sure you’re spending more time with family and friends than at the buffet. If you’re hosting, revamp some of your recipes to include healthier ingredients.

LiveWellnewYork.com has plenty of recipes that will help you ward off extra pounds.

Bring the outdoors inside.

Sick of seeing white? Growing an indoor garden can improve indoor air quality, make you feel more relaxed and optimistic, and serve as a rewarding hobby. Ask an expert at a local greenhouse to steer you towards hardy plants that can survive drought, over-watering, and even cold.

Indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent by decreasing dust and increasing humidity in the winter.

Join the club.

If you’re looking for motivation to exercise, look no further than your local gym. Joining a gym will encourage you to make the most of your money and give you access to the equipment and support you need to stick with an efficient workout routine. Prefer exercising in the comfort of your own home? Test out the Wii Fit or try following our yoga slideshow.

Recreation centers and local gyms are discounting their membership rates this time of year. Research the health or fitness clubs in New York City for the best rates.

Shut out old man winter.

Get ready for winter by inspecting your furnace, sealing cracks in the doors and windows, replacing batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and discussing any heat or safety concerns with your landlord. Remember last year’s post-holiday blizzard that slammed us with more than 2 feet of snow? To be on the safe side, stockpile essentials such as food, clean water, extra batteries, candles, and deicer.

Average snowfall in New York City in January is around 7.5 inches.

Immunize, Immunize, Immunize

The flu shot is hands down one of the best ways to avoid getting sick this winter. If you haven’t already scheduled yours, it’s not too late. Call your local pharmacy or doctor’s office for more information.

Safeguarding your immune system doesn’t stop with the flu shot. Follow these steps to fend off winter sickness:

  • Up your intake of Vitamin C with whole foods like oranges, strawberries, grapes and kiwis, or try supplements.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the washroom, touching animals, preparing food, handling garbage and whenever they look dirty.
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
  • Stay home from work or school if you or your child has a severe cold or flu.

Protect your skin (a natural germ barrier) by loading up on the moisturizer.

Call 1-855-411-LWNY (5969) to find a doctor who can schedule your flu shot at several Continuum Hospital locations throughout the city.

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