Don’t be Miserable this Winter

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I see a number of people who are struggling with the colder weather and the reduction in sunlight. Here are some really basic tips to help you to continue to keep feeling great throughout the winter months:

1. Don’t expect too much of yourself. Everything else in nature slows down this time of year, so we should alter our schedules or at the very least our expectations accordingly. Plan a little more downtime than usual and go to bed half an hour earlier, or set your alarm half an hour later when possible.

2. High intensity exercise is great for getting your energy flowing and it doesn’t have to be an epic workout. To start with, just set yourself the task of a 5 minute workout at the start of the day. Try 5 x 60 second bursts of activity with a 20 second rest in between. You’ll be amazed at how different you can feel with even just this 7 minute workout. Try a combination of any squat-thrusts, burpees, push-ups, hindus, sit-ups, reverse sit-ups, power cobras, air squats, static squats, side-lunges…the list is endless. Just work as hard as you can on each exercise for the 60 seconds. The aim is just to get the blood flowing and the heart rate up!

3. Up your probiotic intake. There is growing evidence to suggest that a healthy gut flora results in a healthy nervous system and is important for balanced production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. All these greatly affect your emotional and psychological health. Fermented foods such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi are great natural sources of probiotics and Kefir (Turkish yoghurt drink) contains both good yeasts and bacteria.

4. Invest in a good-quality juicer, and before you know it you will be enjoying the vitamins, minerals and enzymes of 1-2 lbs of fruit/veg in a single glass! Pick a juicer with good reviews and is easy to clean. Anyone who already juices, knows what a great pick me up this is, whatever the weather!

5. Make that extra bit of effort to connect with friends and family over the darker months. It’s always tempting to curl up and isolate yourself on the settee in front of the TV when it’s miserable outside, but you can’t deny that we are born to be sociable creatures. We are biologically wired to enjoy good company and I’d go as far to say that some fun social interaction can be more nourishing and energizing than a good meal!

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