By Leah P., social media intern
The long winter is finally giving way to spring, and as we pack up our wool coats and gloves, it's the perfect time to bid adieu to our bad winter habits along with them. Spring, with its lovely weather, blooming flowers, and great fashion choices, is the ideal time to fix the damage caused by our bad winter habits before bikini season begins.
In order to test my hypothesis that winter wreaks havoc on our healthy habits, I designed a 9-question survey about eating, exercise, and beauty routines in cold-weather months. The survey was sent to 40 participants, 90% of whom were aged 18 to 24 and attend Fordham University. 100% of invited participants answered at least one question in the survey, although not every question had a 100% response rate. Out of the 40 respondants, 87% were female and 13% male. The results of the survey are categorized into the major problems we might have in the winter-summer transition:
During the winter, we often find ourselves eating high calorie comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese or pizza, that make us feel warm and cozy. 85% of people reported less healthy eating habits in the winter than in any other season. The problem is that as the winter passes, we grow acclimated to a comfort food habit that is hard to get rid off. To transition into healthy eating, start moderately. Reduce rations of carbohydrates or high calorie foods in your diet and slowly substitute them with lean meat, fruits, and vegetables.
About 57% of people interviewed hardly or never exercise during the winter. The snow often has a crippling effect on our motivation that can cause us to default to couch (or bed!) potato. Now that winter is over and the suns rays are shining once more, your body deserves all the exercise it can get! An easy way to start is by taking the stairs rather than the elevator and walking distances within a mile rather than using the car or subway. These lifestyle changes can help you lose weight in the long run, and more importantly, can make you a healthier person. However, don’t be shy to challenge yourself in the gym for more muscle build and to form a healthy habit.
Under all our layers of winter sweaters, scarves, and puffy coats, our skin is often neglected. During the winter, the skin dries out easily and soon begins to crack. Unlike the lips, cracks on the skin do not heal fast and have to be managed. During the spring, although the weather is more tolerable, it is necessary to moisturize skin using a hypoallergenic cream. This seals in moisture and prevents the skin from drying out or breaking easily. Gentle exfoliation combined with regular moisturizing can help dry winter skin recover into a beautiful spring complexion.
According to my survey, 77.5% of people do not have manicure or pedicure routines during the winter. Failure to regularly care for our hands and feet can cause accumulation of cuticles around the nails and rough, dry skin around the heels. For healthy nails, moisturize your cuticles and gently trim hanging edges of skin. (Although manicure devotees may disagree, Dr. Devgan suggests getting out of the habit of trimming and aggressively pushing back your cuticles, as these maneuvers can increase your risk of infection around the nails.) File nails regularly starting from the sides and then moving to the center in order to maintain the strength of the nails free edge and keep them even. Lastly, coat nails with nail strengtheners or a simple topcoat to strengthen the nails.
Now it’s up to you to break those bad winter habits and achieve a healthier body that you can be proud of year-round.