Runny nose, congestion, fatigue, seasonal depression, the lull after the holiday – These are just a few of the factors that contribute to the “winter blues.” But perhaps the biggest contributing factor is one’s inactivity during this time of year. The shortened days and colder weather don’t provide much inspiration to leave the house. Especially when you’re sitting on a big comfy couch with a large bowl of macaroni and cheese and two seasons of “Sherlock” left to binge. However, if you really want to feel better, you’ll go to bed early and wake up for a morning run.
Exercise provides a natural boost to both mood and health. Countless studies prove that regular exercise is a great way to manage mental stress, cognitive performance, and boost energy. Unfortunately, the most difficult time to exercise is often when we need it most – in the dead of winter. If you’ve let yourself fall off the wagon this winter, get a jumpstart on your spring routine and make an effective exercise plan with these tips:
- Set a goal – whether it’s to lose weight, sleep better, improve your emotional health, or to keep up with your grandchildren – a goal will help keep you inspired.
- Listen to music during your workout – Studies have shown that listening to your favorite music during exercise can improve results.
- Try to incorporate exercise into your daily activities – like stretching while in line or walking briskly during errands.
Finally, making a real commitment to exercise can completely change your attitude about it. This can be accomplished by making it an anticipated part of your day—like eating, sleeping, and showering. It becomes essential. Plus, when you start viewing good health as a critical part of your day, you can relax and enjoy it more. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving the winter blues in the dust.
To learn more, see “Ward Off the Winter Blues with Exercise.”