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FEATURES Nov 8 2012 11:32AM
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5 Natural Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

by Shirley Kali Johnson
soulisticwellness.com

The winter can be an awesome time of year.  There is nothing like cozying up on a cold winter night with a mug of your favorite warm beverage or taking a weekend trip to the mountains to snowboard and ski.  However, the winter can also be a dreaded time of year as our bodies prepare for the drop in temperature and our immune systems may become overwhelmed by this adaptation leading to congestion, sluggishness, and the dreaded flu.
Here are some all-natural tips to keep healthy this winter season so that you can do all the things you enjoy and stay on the track of health and wellness!

1. Sleep:  Bears and other animals hibernate in the winter.  They use the increase of nighttime hours to load up on sleep.  Unfortunately, most human beings don’t have the option to hibernate during the winter, and must still continue in their busy days, but we can learn a few things from the animals that do hibernate.  Sleep is a natural way to heal the body and the mind.  Getting enough sleep regularly will help to keep your body and mind balanced.  Rest helps the body to recover and heal, and also helps to ease stress that can sometimes deplete our bodies of nutrients.

2. Lemons: High in vitamin C content, lemons are a natural way to both receive the healing properties of vitamin c and to naturally help eliminate common congestion. Make a habit of drinking room temperature water with fresh squeezed lemon juice each morning.  This easy-to-make concoction will help to flush out any impurities from the body before you start the day.  The vitamin C in the lemons provide anti-oxidants and strengthens the immune system, and the natural properties of the lemon help to release mucus from the body.  Add in a little raw honey and cayenne pepper on days when your throat feels itchy.

3. Ginger:  One of my favorite natural panaceas, in its natural form, ginger root can be used to spice up cooking, make homemade teas for indigestion, or chewed raw to help alleviate symptoms of a cold or the flu.  When you are starting to feel a little bit rundown and like you might be getting sick, reach for your ginger root, cut a small piece, peel the skin off, and start chewing.  Ginger can be quite spicy, and may be overwhelming at first, but don’t worry a small piece goes a long way!

4. Bergamot Essential Oil:  For many people, the winter can be a time of challenging emotions.  There have been numerous studies that link weather with mood disorders.  If you are one of those people who are affected by less sunlight in the day, grab some bergamot essential oil.  The essential oil of bergamot has been linked to helping relieve minimal sadness and lethargy.  Its invigorating and fresh aroma not only wakes you up but gets you on the right foot!  (Please note, because of its potency, pure bergamot essential oil should not be directly applied to skin, mix with a lotion or carrier oil for best results.)

5. Massage and Stretching: The coldness of the winter can leave some of us feeling achy and sore.  The joints in our body may feel less flexible than usual, especially in the mornings.  When we feel achy and sore, it can be difficult to get out of bed and stay committed to our fitness goals.  That is why regular massage can be a great way to keep your body nourished through the cold weather.  Massage helps to release toxins from the tissue within the body, which also helps to decrease the chances of getting sick, and it keeps your joints nice and lubricated so that you can take part in your favorite fitness activities!

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