When winter arrives, it is important to listen to your body’s needs. In winter, the change of season can leave you less motivated and make you want to stay in front of the television. Temperatures are dropping, with fewer hours of daylight, which can certainly put your body out of its misery. No, it’s not just you, and no, you’re not lazy. Science has confirmed the influence of seasonal changes on your health.
Here are some tips on how to adapt your wellness program to the onset of winter.
1. Start a healthy sleep cycle
As night falls earlier and earlier and mornings get darker and darker, your body’s internal clock may have trouble adjusting. When you are exposed to less sunlight during the short winter days, your body produces more melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It is especially important to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during the colder months. Try to wake up at the same time each day so that your sleep rhythm is regulated, which will help improve your mood, immune function and fatigue. It may seem natural to sleep an extra hour during the winter months, and that’s fine!
2. Eat seasonal and healthy foods.
There are great advantages to eating in season and focusing on fruits and vegetables harvested near you. Foods that are produced out of season cannot ripen naturally, they are harvested too early and quickly lose their nutrients. It has been proven that vegetables lose two-thirds of their vitamin C in just one week! Eating as much as possible according to the seasons – and locally – allows your body to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
3. Consider making changes to your workouts for your mental health.
Movement is the key to avoiding stress and depression, but it may be time to change the way you train. For example, BURN FAT NOT MUSCLE
exercises release the hormone cortisol, which controls how the body reacts to stressors. If you are experiencing seasonal depression or anxiety, it may be helpful to add a workout like yoga
to your program, something that is restorative rather than pushing the limits.
4. Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water! During the summer months, the heat reminds you to stay hydrated, but in the fall and winter, you may not be as thirsty and forget to drink as much water as you used to. If you get bored drinking water all day, mix in branched-chain amino acids for better taste and muscle support.
5. Make sure you get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the body in response to the absorption of UVB rays from the sun. As the cooler months arrive, people spend less time in the sun and vitamin D levels drop. Low vitamin D levels are linked to seasonal affective disorders as well as bone and muscle loss. What can you do? In addition to taking a supplement (discuss with your doctor what’s best for you), you can adjust your diet to give priority to vitamin D. Mushrooms, eggs and fatty fish are just a few of the vitamin D-rich foods you may want to consider adding to your basket.
6. Exercise regularly
It is important to maintain a healthy exercise program during seasonal work periods, even if you feel less motivated. If this is the case and the cold weather and the early onset of darkness prevent you from leaving the house, try switching to home exercises such as those found on our FRENESICS website. Another way to exercise daily is to walk instead of taking your car or scooter. Walking (when convenient) exposes you to the sun and fresh air and gives you a good workout. In addition, exercise helps regulate mood and can help you stick to your sleep schedule.