Winter is a very challenging time for many people. The change in season means less natural light, shorter days, and a general feeling of lethargy among many. For some people, the winter blues can become so severe that they can even become depressed or anxious about it.
However, there are many ways to help yourself through the winter blues and stay positive, with exercise is one of the best ways to do so! It can help you fight the seasonal blues by boosting your mood, reducing stress, improving your sleep, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Check out these 5 reasons why you should incorporate exercise as often as possible in the winter:
Hot choccies? Big hearty stews? Yup, winter can bring on a glut of additional treats to combat the winter. Of course, enjoying a big hearty meal in balance is not an issue – the issue is when we use the cold as an excuse not to move.
By incorporating exercise into our daily lives, we can bring the balance our body needs!
Did you know a lack of sunlight during the winter months can cause insomnia?
Exercise helps you sleep better by releasing endorphins that promote relaxation. It also helps your body produce melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles. So before bedtime take a little time to go for a walk or do some light exercise. This will help you stay asleep longer and feel more rested in the morning.
When you exercise regularly throughout the year, it gives you more energy to carry through the winter months.
You’ll be able to maintain your energy levels during the workday, and then you’ll have plenty of energy left over to enjoy your evenings. It’s a win-win!
Exercise can help you deal with the winter blues by reducing the symptoms of the winter blues. Winter blues is the season-specific mood disorder that is most common in winter. Some people call this SAD or seasonal affective disorder.
SAD is characterised by feelings of sadness, depression, or a lack of motivation. Winter blues are caused by a lack of light and a decrease in the amount of sunlight that your body receives compared to summer.
The symptoms of winter blues are fatigue, low motivation, low energy, low concentration, reduced abilities to cope with stress, social isolation, and changes in sleep patterns (you may feel the urge to sleep more). Exercising regularly can help you feel less fatigued and have better concentration, motivation, and energy levels.
To stay healthy and strong in the summer months, it is important that you stay active and exercise regularly even when it’s cold.
All too often in the clinic we see those who are after the “summer body” injure themselves as they are pushing their bodies to the limits after being relatively inactive over the winter months.
Exercise is about being consistent, there should be no reason to push yourself to the limits to be ready for summer if you keep the movement up over winter! Slow and steady ALWAYS wins the race.
Healthy living is important year-round, but we understand that during the winter months, staying active and healthy can be challenging.
Our key piece of advice to you is to just find what you love and be consistent. Find an indoor heated pool, join up to a new class at the gym, sign up for a winter sport – find what gives you joy and stick with it!
Of course, if you need a helping hand in supporting your exercise habits or living with an injury that is holding you back, the team at Mid North Coast Physiotherapy are here to support you!
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