Guest post by Nora Minno, Aromatherapy Associates Eat, Move Wellbeing Ambassador
The change of seasons can bring about changes in our body affecting how we feel and act. While it varies person to person, there are some common changes that many people experience come wintertime that can make it more difficult to be motivated to exercise.
For example, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression related to the seasons, typically present in the winter months, is estimated to affect approximately 10 million Americans per year. Symptoms often include feeling depressed, having low energy, feeling sluggish, and having problems sleeping.
Also, studies have shown that 62% of people have increased stress levels during the holidays, often related to feeling like they have a “lack of time,” which could lead to skipping workouts.
The holidays also tend to bring about parties filled with rich foods and beverages, which can lead to weight gain. Whether you feel increased anxiety or stress during the winter months, low energy, or are prone to weight gain, there is one universal answer that can help mitigate the effects of winter on our body – exercise.
Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy, and contribute to weight loss or maintenance. Below are 5 tips to keep you moving and feeling your best this winter season!
Make Fitness Convenient
If getting to the gym in the cold or snowy weather can seem daunting, figure out a way to make getting your workout in easy. For example, try an online streaming-fitness program, like Daily Burn, that can bring workout classes right into your living room from your computer or phone. You can also invest in some simple equipment like free weights or a stability ball to keep at home, so you ensure you can get some exercise in!
Make it Social
Instead of meeting up with friends over food or drinks this winter, schedule a fitness date. Take a fitness class together, play indoor tennis, or do something that requires moving like bowling, walking around a museum, or ice skating to increase your activity level.
Take an Active Vacation
If you’re planning a vacation this winter, try working in some activities like skiing, snowboarding, or hiking. Or if you’re going somewhere warm, take advantage of the outdoors and go for a run or walk!
Make a Plan
Planning your fitness routine is essential any time of year, but especially in the winter. Days get shorter and night gets darker quicker so you may find it more tempting to hibernate more often. Plan your workouts the way you would meetings – put them in your calendar to ensure you allow the time to get them in and avoid having to make a last-minute decision about what you want to do and when.
Find Accountability
Whether it’s connecting with a workout buddy or committing to a specific workout program that you pre-pay for, find ways to hold yourself accountable to your fitness routine this winter.