Massage therapist Donna McVey discusses how to prioritise these 5 healthy habits during the colder, darker months.

Winter is a challenge to physical and mental well-being. Colder weather affects general health; dark nights and lack of daily sunlight can influence your mood. The result is often colds, or more serious illness, aches and pains, dehydration and feelings of anxiety, stress or depression.

Take a proactive approach to your health, to keep mind and body fighting fit, over the next few months by following some of these winter wellness tips:

Sleep Well

Benefits: Relaxation, Immunity, Injury Recovery, Mental Health, Energy

Humans are designed to adapt to each season. In the dark and cold months of winter we instinctively feel more tired, encouraging our bodies to sleep more at this time, not just to conserve energy.

If you get what feels like the same cold every winter, sleep could be your secret weapon.

Good quality sleep is essential for maintaining and improving our mental health, especially during the dark days of winter. It can accelerate healing and fight infection.

Eat Well

Benefits: Immunity, Injury Recovery, Energy

In winter our instincts tell us to fill up on energy-dense foods to prepare for the cold weather. To feel full, your first choice may be to eat lots of simple, refined carbohydrates, but the healthier choice is complex carbohydrates (eg brown rice, wholewheat, legumes), in moderation, together with protein and healthy fats (eg avocado, oily fish). This will help you feel full and satisfied for longer.

For your body to operate at its best, boost your immune system and keep your mood up, it’s important to eat plenty of vitamin-rich foods.

Warm Up and Recover for Activity

Benefits: Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Injury Recovery, Energy

No matter what level of physical activity you engage in over winter, you should warm up and stretch before you begin. This can help prevent strains and injuries. Pre activity warm up can improve circulation, assist mobility and flexibility.

During activity or cold weather, if you do feel aches and pains, give yourself plenty of time to recover. Rest, good nutrition, reduced physical tension plus strengthening exercises and appropriate stretches can all help recovery.

At our Chiropractic Centre, I provide One to One tailored programmes to guide you in overcoming a sporting or workplace-related injury. Get in touch with us to find out more or to book an appointment.

Stay Hydrated

Benefits: Immunity, Injury Recovery, Mental Health, Energy

It may not be the first thing to come to mind during winter, but hydration is just as important as any other time of year. Keeping warm means that lots of moisture is lost from the body through sweat and breath (easy to see when you exhale in cold air!).

Hydration is vital for maintaining regular bodily function. Drinking the recommended 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid a day aids everything from digestive and cardiovascular health to joint lubrication; essential in supporting your immune system, fight a cold, flush out toxins, and replenish water lost through a fever and loosen phlegm.

You don’t have to just drink lots of cold water – fresh vegetables and fruit, milk, teas and soups provide plenty of other sources of hydration.

The key is to treat hydration with just as much importance as you would during a hot summer’s day. Your body will thank you for it.

Chiropractic and Massage Therapy

Benefits: Relaxation, Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Injury Recovery, Mental Health

Chiropractic helps musculoskeletal issues such as joint pain and muscle spasms through manual release therapy.

Massage provides therapeutic release for muscular tissues and helps with relaxation.

Both can be excellent ways to relieve tension and stress and provide stimulation to the nervous system that will help body and mind during the cold, dark months.


Our Chiropractic Centre offers Chiropractic and Massage services, as well as consultation and advice for general health and wellness. Our approach considers mind and body to improve the overall lifestyle of our patients.

To book an appointment for Chiropractic or Massage with us, be sure to visit our new online booking system to see when our therapists are available.

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