A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Winter

by Anya Mayr

Winter: the time of snuggly warm hot cocoa drinks, twinkly lights, and the unabashed smell of cinnamon. While winter in Florida lacks the cotton-white snow and piles of amber-colored leaves, the weather dips, hearty holiday meals, and stressful schedules can have a significant impact on your health. This winter, be sure to follow some healthy holiday tips to keep in tiptop shape throughout the season and into the new year!

Have a Heart Healthy Holiday

Don’t worry – you don’t have to skip out on your grandma’s delicious stuffing tradition or rid yourself of the pumpkin pie! However, make it a point to enjoy your favorite holiday meals in moderation. Holiday meals tend to be high in cholesterol, which in turn can increase your risk of heart disease. If you do choose to stray away from the traditional path, plan on creating some holiday meals that include mushrooms! Not only are they a delicious, heart-healthy, gluten-free (and vegan!) option, but they also have immunity components that help boost your protection against colds and viruses. For more information on improving heart health, visit

We’ve got your back!

Some of the most common causes of missed work and loss of enjoyment are back and neck pain, and we all know that holiday decorating comes coupled with some heavy lifting. Protect your back this winter season by learning good body mechanics and eating foods that are good for your bones. When lifting heavy boxes, make sure you lift with your legs, not with your back. Rather than bending at the waist to pick something up, squat down, take a hold and stand up. This will give your back the support it needs to get the job done, minus the pain.

As a bonus, pair your breakfast with some yogurt. This creamy, smooth treat not only doubles as a dessert but can also help reduce your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones thin and result in painful fractures. For more information on orthopedic health, visit www.NFRMC.com/Orthopedics.

A gift for your breast friend

Although early detection of breast cancer increases chances of survival significantly, mammography tends to be a scary topic for women, so what better way to reduce the daunting feeling than by tying it with a bow? Skip the customary gifts this holiday season and give the gift of mammograms to your closest lady friends. Remind them that performing regular screenings is imperative to maintaining good breast health… and don’t forget to get one for yourself! Schedule a mammogram today at North Florida Regional Medical Center’s Mammography Suite by calling (352) 333-5415 or by visiting www.NFRMC.com/Women.

F —A —S—T—er than Rudolph

Women are well-known for being the caretakers of the family, but it’s also pivotal that you take some time for yourself. This holiday season, try to avoid getting so tied up that your health gets put on the back burner.  Keep an eye out for irregular signs and symptoms that may affect the way you function. For example, you may be able to spot the signs of a stroke by remembering the pneumonic FAST. F – Face drooping, A – Arm weakness, S – Speech difficulty, T – Time to call 9-1-1. A stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere, no matter the time of day. So, if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to visit the Emergency Room immediately. For more information on a Comprehensive Stroke Care center right in your community, visit www.NFRMC.com/Stroke-Care.

Leave the surprises under the tree, and out of your body. Even if you’re traveling this winter, be sure to keep these simple tips in your back pocket as a reminder of the importance of staying in good health so you can spend a joyful holiday season with the ones you love most. For a full list of services, please visit www.NFRMC.com.