IF you’re feeling lazier now the temperature has dropped, you’re not alone. Shorter days mean less sunlight, so your brain produces more melatonin, which means you tend to feel more fatigued.
Even the fittest, most dedicated exercise fan can have a hard time in winter.
Longer evenings and the cold makes it harder to get out of bed (that’s me!!!) and difficult to get the body moving.
It’s just a very disruptive time of year for maintaining the exercise habit so we need to be consciously aware that we need to put a bit more effort into it.
But exercise is not just about losing weight, it’s really important for your mental and physical health to keep motivated during winter.
Here’s five reasons to stay active and some top tips:
ONE: Your body is producing less vitamin D than normal and this can cause you to feel tired. Some people travel to work in the dark and go home in the dark, not seeing daylight at all. Try to get outside for at least some part of the day – I promise it will make you feel better.
TWO: Winter really interferes with habits and routines and we can be unaware we’re not moving as much. If you used to walk in the mornings or evenings, but it’s too dark now, shift things around a bit. Carve out a different time in your day. If you can’t get out in the daytime, you could walk from the comfort of your lounge or bedroom with Rick Buller (he’s amazing) or Leslie Sanderson (she’s great too!) on YouTube!
THREE: When you get into the habit of regularly raising your heart rate, especially in winter, you’ll really feel the benefits. Biggest among them is an unbeatable sense of wellbeing and positivity. It’s clinically proven that you’ll feel happier, you’ll also feel more relaxed, more content, in fact you discover that you can get so much more out of life.
FOUR: Exercise is a powerful tool for overcoming SAD syndrome, depression, stress, and many mental health challenges. It doesn’t matter how old or how fit you are. Just get that body moving and you’ll be taking full advantage of Nature’s feelgood medication.
I read a recent study done at the Harvard School of Public Health which found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by more than a quarter.
This is because exercise produces healthy changes in the brain, including the release of endorphins, powerful natural chemicals which make you feel good.
FIVE: Finally, another reason I recommend stepping up exercise in winter is that it improves your self-esteem. You’ll feel a great sense of achievement each day as you gradually notch up bigger wins and you’ll find you feel so much better about yourself when you don’t have to think about the new year, new me stuff in January because you’ll enjoy the you that you already are! Those high fives in the mirror will definitely come more easily!
I’m stepping up my exercise right now with weights so please do join me on Instagram where I’ll be strutting my stuff! If you’re not following me on Insta yet, you’ll find me on @sandraroycroftdavis – come and say hello!
I’ll be doing a deeper dive on all this live on our Slimpod for weight loss Facebook page this evening (Tuesday Nov 16) at 7.30pm UK time – join me by searching #livechat36
Please leave a comment below to let me know what you’re going to do to give your mind and body a winter lift.
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