Most of us are longing for Spring this time of year but sadly, we’ve got another several weeks or so of cool, wet weather ahead of us. If you’re like most people this is probably a good time to reboot your efforts to keep fit over the winter months.
Winter is a very different beast than summer. The days are shorter, the fresh food is not so abundant and the opportunities for outdoor activities are decreased. Fight the urge to hole up in the winter. Try to find some activity that will take you outside, get you active and get some sun on your face.
If the weather is just too miserable for you, then head to a big mall and take a walk inside. Get yourself a walking buddy. You can also consider a gym membership. Great membership rates are often available this time of year. Try ice-skating. If you skated as a kid, you can do it now. It’s not very demanding, it’s fun and it burns those calories. Check out exercise and special interest classes at community centers. Many are free or the cost is minimal. If you just can’t drag yourself outside your home, exercise at home. You can find all kinds of classes on the internet and T.V. No excuses!
Good sleep, vitamin supplements, a healthy diet, staying hydrated, fresh air, sunshine and exercise will take care of your physical self. You need to pay attention to our mental health as well. Winter brings on a slump in the moods of many people. Seasonal affective disorder is common over the winter months so listen to what your mood is telling you. If this ‘down’ feeling persists make sure you talk to your primary health care provider.
Staying social can be challenging for many over the winter months. Nobody is chatting across the fence or BBQing in the backyard. It can feel like everyone has gone away. Think about having a rotating potluck dinner with a group of friends. Consider taking a course to develop a skill and enjoy the new social connections you are sure to make. When you are feeling really lethargic, drag yourself to your favourite coffee place. You’ll feel better just being out and around others.
There’s a few ideas to kickstart your winter health routine. Very soon you’ll welcome much more light, sunshine and the sociability and activity that the warm months bring.