The winter season is almost upon us. While this time of year can be fun and exciting because of the many events, time with family, and the preparation for the holidays, it is also easy for the cold weather and busy schedule to keep people from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine. People feel less motivated to get up and go to the gym, or even for a walk outside. Holiday meals may cause diets and healthy eating patterns to fall to the wayside. All of these factors can contribute to a weaker immune system, making someone more susceptible to illnesses. The following are a few ways you can stay healthy this winter. 

Reduce Your Carb Intake

Spending more time indoors puts people in close proximity to carb-filled snacks. After eating carbs, someone’s serotonin levels rise, which makes their brain feel happier. This feeling will only make the craving for carbs stronger and stronger. 

Try to reduce your carb intake and beat carb cravings by eating a protein-filled breakfast that will keep your energy up the rest of the day. If you still find yourself hungry, reach for snacks that are healthy and low in fat instead of sweet, carb-laden snacks. 

Eat More Vegetables

Eating more vegetables is a great way of ensuring your body is receiving the nutrients it needs. Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are all good winter choices. Be purposeful about planning your meals out in advance to include the vegetables you need instead of buying processed foods last-minute. 

Get Better Sleep

As the days get shorter, your body naturally will want to sleep longer. Try to go to bed early and at the same time each night. A consistent sleep schedule will help your body to fall into a better rhythm. Stop using your computer or phone a few hours before you go to sleep, otherwise the blue light stimulates your brain and will keep you awake. 

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands on a regular basis, as well as before your touch your face or eat is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting sick. Washing your hands and teaching others to wash their hands reduces the spread of illnesses. According to the CDC, hand-washing education reduces the spread of respiratory illnesses by 16-21 percent.