Staying Healthy and Motivated During Winter
Yet again, winter is right around the corner. In addition to colder weather and shorter days, seasonal depression can take hold and affect one’s spirits and productivity. Common symptoms of winter depression include low energy, tiredness, appetite changes, and weight gain. These are all things that can impact health moving into the more active months, creating a cycle of poor habits. It’s important to stay on top of winter before it takes a seat on you. Here are some helpful tips from your home gym and fitness experts at Lifespan fitness.
Stay in Your Routine
Routines provide our lives with structure— a thing that can be very healthy. Although it can be easy to sleep in with the sun on occasion, following a stable routine during winter can offer tremendous benefits. Keep your wake-up and bedtimes constant throughout the year. Set aside a specific block of time each day for exercise. It’s also good to stay somewhat busy in order to avoid falling into comfortable habits.
Try and Get Outside (Even if It’s Cold)
Turns out, humans weren’t made to be locked indoors all day, regardless of the season. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes under the sun can reduce stress and boost energy levels. Even if there is snow on the ground, a quick few minutes outside when the sun is shining can do wonders.
Invest in Home Gym Equipment
As more and more of us work from home, there is a greater need for healthy distractions around the house. In addition, as snow falls and roads get slick, many find it harder to make it to the gym consistently. For those reasons, home gym equipment such as rowers, treadmills, or even treadmill desks can be a game-changer during the winter.
Give Yourself a (Reasonable) Break on Holidays
Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than going into Thanksgiving or a December holiday weekend counting calories and entirely avoiding those sweets we so enjoy. While it’s never advisable to overeat, especially over the span of several days, some indulgence is just fine every so often. Just make sure you maintain your routine and don’t fall out of good habits.
Replace Free Time With Productive Hobbies
It’s much easier during the winter to gravitate towards a lazier lifestyle. Try combatting this through the development of new hobbies whether indoors or outdoors. Give skiing a try, learn an instrument, read a book, or start cooking some healthy meals. Whatever it takes to keep your mind occupied and active for as much of the day as possible.
Sleep has a large bearing on overall health and wellness. Interestingly enough, getting too much sleep and not enough can have similar impacts on one’s day-to-day. Make sure your schedule remains fairly consistent and you are getting somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
Maintain Social Outlets
It may be easy to stay home and be reclusive when it’s cold and snowy outside. However, it’s important for mental health to get out every once in a while and interact/socialize in public. Research shows that by interacting with others in person, we actually train our brains to hold onto memories and protect against neurodegenerative diseases. Some time with friends goes a long way.
The upcoming months may require a tad more effort from some than others as far as maintaining good health goes. That being said, some simple measures can make a considerable difference physically and mentally. Try to form and keep healthy habits, cling to your routine, socialize whenever possible, and utilize that home gym equipment. It’s there to help.