Winters can be extremely long and once the excitement of the holidays are over, some of us may begin struggling with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This year may be especially difficult, as many of us remain inside our home and not venturing outdoors as much as we would like. Below, are some tips to improve your state of mind and help you get through the remainder of the season.
In a matter of just a few seconds we can all come up with a handful of excuses not to exercise in the winter. But even with the pandemic and colder temperatures, you don’t have to bring your outdoor workouts indoors.
By keeping our exercise outdoors, you can burn more calories and even strengthen your heart.
Because your body is working harder to regulate its temperature, you’ll burn more calories during an outdoor workout compared to one indoors. In addition, the colder temperatures also make your heart work a little bit harder to distribute blood throughout your body.
Always remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. You are more likely to get dehydrated in cold weather as cold air tamps down thirst.
Be sure to dress appropriately. This means covering your hands, head and feet. When it is cold, blood flow concentrates in your body's core to help keep you warm, which leaves your head, hands and feet vulnerable to the cold.
Always consult your physician before you begin an exercise routine.
When winter is here, we tend to get a little lazy about our diet. On top of that, we always seem to feel hungry. There are ways to avoid putting on some extra weight in the winter, while also feeling satisfied.
Avoid the chips and junk food. Instead reach for healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, beets, nuts and whole grains.
Add some vitamins to your daily diet. Vitamin C is naturally found in fruits and vegetables and can boost your body’s immunity. Since there’s less sunshine during the winter, consider adding Vitamin D to ward off depression and Zinc is a terrific vitamin to help fight off infections.
Finally, keep your diet full of fruits and vegetables. Even if your favorites are out of season, reach for the frozen, instead of canned, as they contain less additives.
You can still enjoy a rich meal or dessert, but practice moderation.
Consult your physician before beginning any diet.
FIND SOME QUIET TIME:
No matter the season, some silence is wonderful, a break from the noise, music, electronic devices and yes… even the family. It’s amazing what even five minutes of quiet time can do to improve your mood and overall mental being.
FIND A HOBBY:
Instead of checking down the winter days, trying to count how many are left until spring, a hobby may help the season feel a little shorter. Experiment in the kitchen, bring the family together and work on a puzzle, take an online class or play games, virtual or with the family. Starting a book club may be another option to help winter pass by a little quicker.
Sources: WebMD, UPMC Healthbeat, Brainhackers.com, Developgoodhabbits.com