This month....

March 2018

The start of meteorological spring & you would think daffodils, crocuses, blue skies, tweeting birds & fluffy white clouds would be the order of the day. Instead we have fluffy white snowflakes, biting winds, red noses & very cold hands! Plus empty tubes, schools & workplaces, a silent city or at least city sounds muffled by snow. So while the end of the month will probably be a different story, right now it's about how to stay warm.

Eat well, eat wisely & don't worry about putting on weight. Once the warmer weather surfaces the weight will disappear. Hot food, complex carbohydrates, & good fats which help vitamin absorption, especially Vitamin D. Go with what your body dictates.

Alcohol keeps you warm? Temporarily but not in a useful way. By dilating peripheral blood vessels it takes blood and heat away from the core of your body which is the kind of heat you need.

Exercise is good in cold weather. It helps burn off calories, improves circulation & mood & allows exposure to sunlight, beneficial even in small doses. Shivering is a novel way to use up excess stores of energy!

Dress in layers. Layering rather than thick clothing helps to keep you warm. The layer next to your skin helps regulate body temperature & draw excess moisture from your skin. The next layer helps to trap the heat generated by your body. The third should be an outer, protective layer. As the temperature changes so you can add or take away layers.

Keep hydrated. It's just as easy to get dehydrated in winter as in summer, but you are probably less aware of it. Drink plenty of water, hot or cold. In winter, fluids moving to the core of the body tend to increase urination. As do alcohol, caffeine & fizzy drinks.

Harsh winds & central heating play havoc with skin, making it dry & chapped. Treat your skin gently. Avoid excess heat sources such as heaters that dry the air, very hot water, alcohol based products & astringents that dry the skin. Use a humidifier or diffuser to counteract dry air & natural oils both inside the body & out. Only use an exfoliator that is super gentle & avoid skin regimes that may irritate fragile skin. Keep skin covered from the elements to prevent moisture loss but try to wear natural rather than synthetic fabrics to allow your skin to breathe.

Most importantly take care of your neighbours, human or animal, & enjoy the beauty of this early spring freeze!

© Susan Mumford, 2018