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How to have a healthier winter

Winter is the season for the Water element in TCM. If you have any kidney or bladder issues, this is a time to really tune into the flow of energy in your body. Water in nature can wear down rocks, change the course of rivers, redesign landscapes. And so it is within your body too.

If you drink too much water - yes, this is a thing, then you overtax the working of the kidneys that have to filter fluids for elimination. If you drink too little water, as is frequently the case, your body becomes dehydrated and you often mistake this for hunger - leading to overeating and putting on a 'comfort' belly in winter.

The key to signalling to your brain that hydration is on the way, is to take your first sip and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. When you drink the rest of your glass, your body will let you know if it's had enough or wants more by your belly feeling full.

To help keep your body, mind and spirit well in the winter, try the following tips:

- Drink hot lemon water every morning to balance your electrolytes

- Eat well cooked warming foods such as soups and stews that are easy to digest

- Keep your feet and lower back warm to nurture your kidneys

- Gently stretch your body to warm it up before you exercise

- Keep a blanket over you when you meditate as your body temperature cools down rapidly when you sit still

- Sit in a sheltered sunny spot as often as you can - the warming rays do wonders for your psyche


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