Winter Survival Guide

Winter Survival Guide

We get it.  It's been 8 degrees all week, and summer isn't in sight.  You just want go outside for fresh air and feel the sunshine.  Short of becoming a snow bird or an extended spring break, warm weather won't get here faster, but we can give you some tips for staying warm, healthy and surviving winter.

As if you need an excuse for a massage.

Stress making your feel run down?  Massage therapy has been shown to improve immune function and energy levels in cancer patients. In a recent study, massage lowered cortisol levels by up to 53%. Experts believe this boost can extend even to those who are simply dealing with the daily pressures of life. A weekly kneading, whether it's a professional massage or simply a back rub from your bestie, can also increase serotonin and dopamine, mood boosters that may help protect your immunity, as well. 

Get Toasty, without the Sweaty.

Sauna's aren't just for after a workout, and you can enjoy the benefits without getting sweaty!  Detoxification has become increasingly necessary to our overall health. Continuous exposure to many chemicals, through air, water, food, and personal hygiene products result in negative health impacts. We were invited to try inBody's Himalayan Salt Sauna which may become our secret lunchtime escape, just inches from Cambridge in Arlington.  The Infrared Sauna can be used with or without Himalayan sea salt, yielding different benefits, and perhaps the best part is that you can have a short visit fully clothed or relax for a longer session and return to work with just a quick freshen up, sans that gym smell.  We returned to work an hour later, and took with us the benefits of the Infrared Sauna - detoxification, relaxation, reduced stress and fatigue and perhaps most importantly, we walked by those snow banks nice and warm.  There are dozen more health benefits you may benefit from over time, but to walk back to your snow covered car feeling so toasty and return to the office nice and relaxed (and stay relaxed) is worth the trip. 

inBody in Arlington, MA  Photo Credits: Valerie Vest

inBody in Arlington, MA  Photo Credits: Valerie Vest

Go To Bed

Getting enough sleep is the most important thing to do in the winter, because any other precautions you take against cold or flu—the right food, supplements, even vaccinations—won't offer the same protection if your body's too tired to use them properly.  Go to bed early, or use this as an excuse to sleep in!  We know the advice of turning off your phone is hard to take, but at least change the screen settings to dim or change the light - it will help your eyes give your body cues that it can relax.  Are you a snooze button addict?  Just stop.  Sleeping between alarms isn't quality sleep, so set your alarm for when you need to get up, and get up. 

Don't Stay Home - Join a Club

Your friends always cheer you up and help you de-stress, right?  Not only do friendships help fight the harmful effects of stress hormones, but new research says the more friends you have, the healthier you'll be. Carnegie Mellon doctors gave 83 college freshmen an influenza vaccine and found that those with larger social networks produced more flu-fighting antibodies than those who hung out in smaller groups. Students who reported feeling lonely produced fewer antibodies, as well.  New to Boston? Find groups or organizations catering to your interests and preferred activities.  And obviously you should check BostonYPA's calendar.  Our hosts make sure everyone feels welcome, and now we fight the flu.

How do you stay warm and social while everyone else is hibernating in the winter?  Share your tips and contributions - something tells us we'll be preparing a 2019 draft sooner than we want to.

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