Health Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter is here and some of us are feeling the chills with constant struggles of laziness, low motivation and common colds. But there is no need to rustle through your daily life looking and feeling like a mess. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to beat the winter blues.

1. Exercise:
If you haven’t heard this one a thousand times I will be surprised. But there is a reason why physicians, researchers and fitness gurus recommend you exercise in the winter. One word: METABOLSIM. Exercises increases your metabolism which in turn kick starts a series of positive body functions in your brain to your immune system. Physical activity releases endorphins which are neurotransmitters which relive stress and leaves you in good mood.

What sort of exercise?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a short and quick form of exercise which promotes fat burn and lean muscle gain. It is a fun and dynamic form of exercise which can be done in a group setting which is perfect when you are low on motivation and are feeling lazy. A good habit to develop is properly warming up before engaging in intense exercise. The blood flow to the muscles is affected to the cold weather so it is necessary to work up a mild sweat through dynamic and static stretching as part of your warm-up.

2. Hydration:
With the drop in temperature, you don’t tend to feel as thirsty as a hot summer’s day. This does not mean you can slip up on your hydration game. Start your day with a large glass of water and sip on some warm green tea throughout the day to maintain your fluid intake. It is wise to swap your coffee breaks for green tea as coffee is a diuretic. Ensure you carry a bottle of fluid when working out. Dehydration is the common reason for constant headaches as well.

3. Nutrition:
Your diet will play a major role in you coming out this winter hibernation unscathed. It is comforting to snuggle up and binge on something sugary when it’s cold outside. It may alleviate your mood for a brief while but the sugar crush you get after, will leave you feeling worse.

What should you eat then?
Omega 3 fatty acids are the best and most underused form of macronutrient. One study from the University of Pittsburg reported that people with higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to face symptoms of depression and anxiety. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel along with eggs (especially yolks) are a good source of Omega 3 acids, also flaxseeds and walnuts are good sources for vegetarians.

Lean proteins like chicken breast, low fat ground buffalo and white fish increases amino acid levels in your body which improves your mood. Vegetarians can select a range of legumes to add lean protein to their diet. It is also responsible in helping with recovery from the muscle damage caused after an intense bout of exercise.

Dark Chocolate yes you heard it right! Flavonoids in the cocoa plant improve the blood flow to the brain and improve anti-inflammatory properties in the body. This has a positive effect on your mood and your immune function. However you should opt for the low sugar dark chocolate options to experience these psychological and physiological benefits.


 'Everything in Moderation'. This is a valuable motto in establishing long-lasting healthy habits. Winter is also a month to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or stay indoors and watch your favorite film. The above tips will help you take pleasure in these indulgences of winter and combat you against the other adversities of winter.

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