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Winter Wonders For Your Health

Meghann Shannon
Meghann ShannonMeghann Shannon

I'll be honest, winter is my least favorite season. That being said, there are certainly things I incorporate into my daily life that help me - tremendously - cope with this time of year. Without some extra "help," my skin is significantly drier, my nails feel more brittle, hair seems dull, my desire to work out is diminished, and I even battle some of those "winter blues" that people always talk about...

If you want to give your mind AND body a little boost this winter, take a look at my favorite "Winter Wonders" below.

1) Set aside every day to get some sunlight (unless, of course, there isn't any that day)! Forget the cold. Bundle up and go for a walk. Even for 15 minutes. When you are exposed to natural sunlight, your body actually produces more serotonin. Serotonin, according to http://www.dictionary.com is "derived from tryptophan, that is involved in sleep, depression, memory, and other neurological processes."It is known to promote the feeling of happiness.

2) Next time you're at the store, purchase a jar of extra virgin coconut oil (that is unrefined). You will be pleasantly surprised to learn it has a multitude of uses. To name a few...use it on your split ends, your face for moisture and also to combat acne, on your skin to moisturize and replenish (even the tissues below the skin's surface, unlike other moisturizers), and it even can be used for cooking! It is a smart alternative to butter or even olive oil (it contains NO trans-fat). I swear by coconut oil. Try it and you can thank me later!

3) Invest in a good bronzer. I'm not talking jersey-shore orange, either! A little color can go a long way. Not to mention - make you feel a little better since you'll be sporting a subtle, yet beautiful glow (even in the winter)! My favorite is MAC's bronzer in Golden or for a less expensive, over-the-counter bronzer, try one of the bronzers created by Physician's Formula. They have numerous bronzers to choose from. I recommend steering away from anything too shimmery. You don't want to look like you're trying to hard. Actually, you don't want to even appear as though you're wearing any sort of facial bronzer!

4) Skip the dry shampoo and opt for a dry conditioner, instead. Just like dry shampoo, you won't need to wet your hair, yet this product works just as well as a leave-in conditioner. You'll want the extra moisture, shine, and protection during the winter months (especially if you aren't following my #2 Winter Wonder suggestion)! Personally, when I use dry conditioner, I use one created by Suave, which you can find at any of your local drugstores or even grocery stores.

5) Last, but not least, incorporate some sort of exercise that will get your blood pumping. It is all to easy to skip your normal fitness routine and head home to bundle up under some blankets and turn on the tube. Even if it is just some calisthenics at home (perhaps in front of the tube)! A solid set of pushups, sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, etc. will get your body going and help increase blood flow...not to mention, keep your body in shape, saving yourself the extra effort to get back in shape for spring!

If you don't try all of my favorite Winter Wonders, at least try one that appeals to you.

Remember, every step counts. Even baby steps!