4 Things We Stop Doing in the Winter that We Should Absolutely Keep Doing

Summer is the ultimate glow-up time.

It's easy to take care of yourself when you have a lot of free time and everything is sunny. The wintertime is another story. It's hard to motivate yourself and practice self-care when all you want to do is stay in bed and watch Christmas movies. You also have the added stress of school, and this year, a pandemic.

However, you deserve to be healthy in every season. If you stop taking care of yourself and practicing healthy habits, it can lead to a lower mood and lower energy levels. Staying healthy can be as simple as making small adjustments to your self-care rituals or finding alternative ways to practice healthy habits.

All that matters is that you're staying on top of your self-care goals so your glow-up can keep growing. Keep up these four habits to make sure you stay healthy all year round.

Shutterstock: woman outside in winter

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Drinking Water

Winter dehydration is real and dangerous. According to Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas, we naturally drink less water in the winter. We don't notice that we're dehydrated because we don't sweat as much and don't associate cold weather with dehydration. However, we still lose moisture, even if we don't feel thirsty.

It's so important to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated maintains skin health, regulates body temperature, moves oxygen throughout your body and boosts your energy. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. You can use drinking water apps like Daily Water Tracker and Hydro Coach to remind you to drink water. And if it's difficult for you to drink cold water in winter weather, you can drink hot lemon water or herbal tea instead.

Shutterstock: woman drinking water on a beach

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Exercising

Motivating yourself to exercise is tough when it's cold outside. It's so tempting to stay inside, but it's essential to remain active for your mental and physical health. Exercise improves your cardiovascular health, strengthens your bones and joints, increases your energy, reduces stress and improves your sleep quality. Exercising also gives you endorphins, which enhance your mood and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

If you want to work out outside, you can fight the cold by dressing correctly. Outside Online has a winter guide for how to dress for the most comfortable outdoor training. Winter sports like snowboarding and skiing are great ways to stay active. You can also go for runs, walks or hikes outside. Remember to take extra precautions when working out in dangerous winter conditions. Also, don't forget to wear a face mask! You can also work out in your home, so you never have to step outside, with bodyweight exercises, yoga or pilates.

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Wearing Sunscreen

We don't have to wear sunscreen in the winter because it's not as sunny, right? Wrong! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 80% of the sun's harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin even on cloudy days. The Skin Cancer Foundation also warns that the UV rays can reflect off the ice and snow, so you're hit by the rays twice.

You need to wear sunscreen to protect against skin cancer. Sunscreen also keeps your skin healthy by preventing aging and hyperpigmentation. The ACA recommends that your sunscreen is SPF 30 higher, water-resistant and also broad-spectrum, protecting against both UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays.

Shutterstock: woman putting on sunscreen in winter

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Eating Fruits and Vegetables

In the winter, we crave comfort food. There's absolutely nothing wrong with yearning for Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, but you also need to keep fruits and vegetables in your diet to make sure you're nourishing your body correctly. It's easier to eat produce in the summer because popular fruits and vegetables are in season, so they are cheaper and easier to find.

An excellent way to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet is by checking which produce is in season. You can use the Seasonal Food Guide to find seasonal produce in your area. You can also include fruits and vegetables in warming winter meals. There are many satisfying options like oatmeal with berries, vegetable soups and stews, roasted vegetables, vegetable curry with rice and baked sweet potatoes. You can also include fruit in baked goods like blueberry muffins and banana bread.

Shutterstock: pumpkin soup

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Drinking water is number one on this list because it is so important. If you're struggling to drink enough water, HERE are 6 delicious beverages that'll up your hydration game.