Everyone needs ways to beat the winter blues. It can be tough when summer is over and you have to stay indoors all the time.
Temperatures are not the only thing that drops in winter. The colder weather and shorter days can cause a drastic drop in mood and motivation that can stretch into spring for some of us. This winter can be different! Just put down that remote and bag of potato chips because there are some tips that you can use to improve your physical, emotional and overall well being this winter.
Here are the best ways to beat the winter blues.
One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to exercise. Staying as active as possible will go a long way toward fighting off winter blues. Getting 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week can ease the gloominess of depression, plus keep the extra winter weight off. If you don’t already belong to a local gym or weekly yoga or Pilates exercise class, this winter can be a great time to start. In fact, most gyms offer special rates and promotions to attract new members.
If getting to the gym this winter is a challenge - no worries - you can work out at home. Nowadays, there are tons of websites available for free that provide workouts, no matter what fitness level you are.
For those of you looking for a new and exciting home workout, an indoor exercise bike is the new must-have. This lets you experience the energy of a cycling class in the comfort of your own home!
Eating healthy can be a challenge anytime, especially in the winter. It seems that once the snow falls, so does my desire to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I’d rather eat those winter comfort foods - potatoes, baked goods, basically all the bad carbs. However, buying and eating seasonal local produce can provide mood boosting minerals to help beat seasonal depression. Seasonal fruits and vegetables include winter squash, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage and even beets.
In addition to food, your water intake is critical in maintaining good health. In a recent study, a 1.36% fluid loss was enough to impair mood, concentration and increased the frequency of headaches. It’s best to drink cold water because the body will need to expend energy to heat the water to body temperature. According to two studies, drinking 16 ounces of water can temporarily boost metabolism by 25-30%. So besides eating right, drink some water!
In the winter, the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough in the northern half of the United States for adequate exposure for filling up our vitamin D levels naturally. When this decrease in vitamin D and natural sunshine occurs, it can cause a major seasonal depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
To help combat this and prevent it from happening, you need to expose yourself to as much light as possible. Light therapy, a treatment option for SAD sufferers, exposes you to natural light, using a device called a light box for at least 30 minutes per day. Another option is using a “dawn simulator”, a device which uses a timer-activated light to mimic the sunrise, which stimulates the body’s clock.
Supplements are a good way to fight off the germs and the malaise of winter. By now, most people are aware of the benefits of adding vitamins C and D to your winter regimen, but here are a few more additions that can keep you feeling energetic and beat off those winter time illnesses.
- Co-enzyme Q10 is a great winter supplement to fight off low energy and fatigue. It helps the body use more oxygen so it fights fatigue and lethargy.
- Tumeric – Tumeric, is the cooking spice that gives curry its yellow color. Curcumin, is the main ingredient in turmeric. Tumeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Those who suffer from any type of chronic inflammatory disease can find benefit from taking this amazing supplement.
Essential oils are a must-have to protect yourself and your immune system. There are oils that have been highly effective against airborne bacteria. They can strengthen your body, boost your immune system and help fight off colds and flu. One good winter oil is vitamin E. If you suffer from dry, flaky skin in then winter, try rubbing on some vitamin E oil. Besides being an excellent moisturizer, vitamin E oil has antioxidants, protecting your skin from free radical damage.
Lastly, just keeping busy and active can beat the winter blues. Try doing some early spring cleaning or organizing your closets or maybe even taking a cooking class! Just get motivated and get off the couch!
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