Winter is coming, so it is important to prepare our bodies to prevent cold and flus and also other cold weather related conditions. Many people get sick when exposed to harsh cold or wet weather if they are caught unawares. Here are a few helpful tips on how to improve circulation and keep warm, which may help prevent cold and flus, painful cold extremities and chill blains.
Continue to participate in regular exercise as the days get colder, this will get the blood pumping to the extremities and helps improve the vascular circulation and removal of waste. Exercise also increases your metabolic processes and helps to keep your body warm. Cold weather can be dehydrating, so make sure you keep your fluids up when exercising by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your session.
Essential Oils and Skin Treatments for Warmth
Essential oils can noticeably change the temperature and blood circulation to the skin when applied in areas of poor circulation. There are key essential oils that are known to increase the circulation of the extremities. Examples of warming essential oils include rosemary, clove, ginger, cinnamon, cypress or black pepper. Dry skin brushing or using a warming body scrub will also help improve circulation and keep the skin healthy during the colder months.
Eat Well and Drink Warm
Healthy hearty foods such as baked veggies, soup, curries, stews and porridge are great for warming you up. Try to include complex carbohydrates in your dishes too, as they will give your body long lasting fuel to burn to keep you warm. Avoid cooling foods such a cucumber, melons, lettuce, celery as they tend to lower body temperature, and stick to seasonal produce that will most likely be of the more warming types of vegetables. While having a hot tea or coffee may make you feel warmer, it's more to do with the caffeine. That is because caffeine increases blood flow to the skin. You may feel warmer as a result, but your body is actually losing heat. Alcohol has the same affect and like caffeine is also dehydrating. On the other hand water is actually amazing for retaining body heat. Since we are made up of 60% water, the more hydrated you are, the easier it will be to keep warm. Try sticking to decaffeinated or herbal hot drinks to get warm.
Layer Up and Be Prepared
With the hot and cold temperatures that occur when stepping in and out of air conditioned buildings your immune system can sometimes be affected by the sudden changes. Try and dress in layers for easy transition from warm to cold. Also have wet weather in mind when planning your day, so that you do not get caught in the rain and catch a chill. Cover as much skin as possible to keep body temperature stable in the cold, but do try and catch 20-40 minutes of sun exposure in the middle of winter to boost your vitamin D levels.
Herbs and Supplements to Boost Warmth and the Immune System
Thankfully there are wonderful herbs and supplements from Nature’s Sunshine that can help you warm up if you tend to suffer in the cold weather. Herbs such as Ginger, Capsicum and Ginkgo can help boost circulation and body warmth and may help prevent chilblains and colds.
Nature’s Sunshine also makes a couple of herbal combination supplements that will support healthy circulation and warmth. One is called Cardio Circ, the other Vein Health with Horse Chestnut. Cardio-Circ combines three herbs Hawthorn berries, Capsicum (cayenne) and Garlic, known for their ability to support and maintain healthy peripheral blood circulation and cardiovascular function. Vein Health with Horse Chestnut formula contains Butcher's broom, Horse chestnut, vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which may assist in the relief of symptoms of impaired circulation to extremities and promote healthy venous tone.
Nature’s Sunshine Immune Support includes Andrographis, Olive leaf and Echinacea and is beneficial for boosting the immune system prior to the cold and flu season. Taking vitamin C and bioflavonoids may help to maintain the health of the capillaries, and support wound healing, as well as being useful for boosting the immune system. Although Vein Health with Horse Chestnut contains Vitamin C, you can also purchase Nature’s Sunshine Vitamin C 1000mg with Bioflavonoids for an added boost of vitamin C for immune and venous support.