It's that time of year when so many of us start to feel the heaviness of winter. Gray skies and comfort food start to take over and the mood shifts. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone! Although the actual term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (or appropriately for some, SAD) the 'winter blues' are an actual thing.
It's very common in the late winter months for people to feel fatigue, depression, insomnia, lack of focus and concentration, and (gulp) weight gain. This year is particularly challenging too in light of the virus who shall not be named still showing its ugly face.
There is good news though!! There are many things you can do to help beat the winter blues! Here is a list of our top 10:
Go for a walk even when the weather is really cold - your body has to work overtime to get warm and you may burn up to 50% more calories than you would on the same walk in summer! But remember, go a little slower until you get warm and keep up the hydration.
2. MAINTAIN A FITNESS ROUTINE If you find it hard to get motivated to exercise in winter…just think of spring and how much harder it is to get back into shape rather than maintain your fitness throughout the winter.
3. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS Dose up on vitamins and minerals from whole food sources. Iron, zinc and vitamin C are also key to a healthy immune system. But before popping supplements, boost your dietary intake of these substances. Look for dark, leafy greens and red and yellow vegetables, which are all high in antioxidants.
4. MAKE GOOD CHOICES
Instead of picking up a cup of hot chocolate to keep yourself warm, try a herbal beverage.
5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Regular sleep is vital to staying healthy. Don’t let yourself get run down. Those who aren’t well rested are more likely to get sick.
6. STAY HYDRATED
Cold air and indoor heaters can dry out your skin. Make sure you drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each day and use moisturizers throughout winter.
7. HELP FROM PLANTS
Buy some indoor plants to soften up the dry atmosphere caused through heating. Indoor plants give off moisture and oxygen and the colors will brighten up a dull day outside.
8. BUY SEASONAL PRODUCE
It's cold outside! That means most fruits/vegetables aren't in season, so the ones you see at the grocery store have traveled much farther, for much longer, which increases the need for preserving chemicals and lowers nutrient values. Try to incorporate more seasonal fruits/veggies (like squash, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruit) into your diet.
9. REST IF YOU'RE SICK
Caught a cold or flu? If the infection is above the neck (nose, throat) you could be OK to complete a low intensity workout. However, if you have symptoms that are worse than an average cold (chest congestion, muscle aches), exercise will only make you worse and delay your recovery. Rest is the best approach.
10. CHIROPRACTIC CARE & NUTRITION
Chiropractic adjustments and functional nutrition can improve your immune system function. Keep your immune system in peak condition with regular wellness visits to BFC!