The winter blues can start creeping in along with the colder weather, darker mornings and chilly nights. It’s a common season where the feelings of being less energised, being more tired and prone to feeling sad can arise. During winter, it can cause some people to go through a period of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or also known as the winter blues. It is a kind of depression that is caused by a lack of sunlight, and generally develops in adulthood. It can make it more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and is more common in women, but some children and teenagers can be affected. Vitamin D deficiency can also impact on feelings of anxiety and depression during winter.
By staying active, having a healthy lifestyle and sleeping well, you can keep your mind and body happy, energised and healthy during the cool season. Our body yearns for those wonderful endorphins to make us feel good and healthy. Exercise releases endorphins which can make you feel better, happier, think more clearly and feel more positive. Exercise can significantly help with mental health, reducing stress, feelings of anxiety and depression, improve sleep and be a self-esteem boost. Not to mention, it’s beneficial for your overall wellbeing and mental and physical health.
It’s easy to put off exercise during winter due to feeling busy, tired or lazy, but it will make a world of difference when you exercise regularly. It’s important to find a form of exercise you enjoy, and then you’ll be able to stick with it. Here are some forms of exercise that are perfect for the cooler months. Make sure to wear suitable clothing when you’re exercising outdoors, stay hydrated, and don’t forget to put on sunscreen. Exercise somewhere with less susceptibility to slippage or accidents, especially during the wetter months.
Walking or Running
You can exercise indoors or outdoors, but make sure to keep your body warm by walking on stairs or running on the treadmill. Exercising outdoors on a good day can be healthy for an extra dose of sunshine and vitamin D, which can significantly impact on your mood. Turn on the music for an upbeat mood boost. Exercising outdoors on a good day is valuable, as you can get fresh air, sunlight, immerse yourself in nature and be present within your surroundings.
A relaxing way to exercise, as you can take different levels from beginner to advanced. Yoga is great for mindfulness, balance and flexibility. Yoga can help build up your body temperature, which can give you internal warmth throughout the day. There are styles of power yoga that will have you sweat out toxins, activate sweat glands, clean your kidneys and improve the liver function, which are beneficial to prevent catching a cold. Yoga can boost the immune system, stretch out tight muscles and improve circulation.
Biking outdoors allows you to be surrounded by different scenery, and can be a social activity. However, during winter you can bike at the gym as well to keep fit. Biking is a method of mindfulness, as it is a healthy and meditational way to get around. It can be therapeutic to pedal away, loosen your joints and put your mind at ease. Cycling is a great way to get in your cardio and build some muscle.
A fun way to maintain your exercise routine is through dancing or joining a dance class. You can also partner up with a friend, which can help with committing a routine. A Zumba or cardio dance class can be an ultimate stress reducing activity. Dancing is a great way to burn calories, and get your heart rate going while having fun. You can also follow a long with videos, at the comfort of your home. Dance classes tend to be low impact, and can help with breaking out a sweat without added stress on your joints.
Swimming at a pool is a good substitute during the colder season when it’s too cold outside for open water swimming. Swimming is one of the most effective complete body workouts. The resistance of the water is great for building strength and makes for great cardio. The risk of injury is significantly lower, as it is a low-impact activity. If you are looking to maintain your weight or lose weight during winter, swimming is one of the most effective ways to achieve your goals.