You either love this wintry season combined with walks, hot chocolates, and toasty fires or you’re totally fearing the chilly temperatures – if you come under the latter then fear not, you're not alone.
It is estimated that around 1 in 15 people experience what is commonly known as winter depression ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)’. This is when the body reacts to condensed hours of daylight and produces too much of the sleep hormone, or as we know it - the winter blues!
The winter blues can make it harder to remain active, keep connected with friends and family and even lose love for your passions and hobbies. However, one of the best ways to combat this and help boost your mood and keep active is... Exercise!
Whilst you might start to feel better after a workout (ok, maybe not instantly if you are pushing the cardio or weights too hard) but in keeping regular physical activity, you will help relieve some of the seasonal anxiety or stress that can happen around this time of year.
We asked a few of our team to share how they stay active and what boosts their mood when those winter blues hit... Note: Some of the team below are southern hemisphere born, so it’s pretty vital they are kept active!
Sophie our youngest team member, likes to keep active in the water! A couple of times a week, Sophie is down at her local leisure centre doing laps. For her, there is nothing better than beating her boyfriend in a lap-sprint!
Tim, our token Aussie is a boxer!
Tim stays motivated by spending his evenings down at the gym in a boxing-style class perfecting those sparing techniques. Tim is also working towards the ‘Vertical Rush’ 932 step challenge at London’s iconic Tower 42! Now that is an impressive winter goal!
Rach our Kiwi, is our gym-goer. Two or three times does the trick to ‘blow away the cobwebs’ and remain mentally healthy too. She also finds that there is nothing better than some "me" time. Be it 2-mile warm up or some free weights, an hour out of the day does the trick!
Becky absolutely loves spending time cycling at the weekends with the kids. For her, it’s a great way to get outside – and the kids love it!
Richard our South African friend loves getting together with mates and having a game of tennis. Richard loves the social element and having a laugh – but of course it’s even better when he wins!
So, now you've heard all about us.. here are a few of our top tips to make keeping active that little bit easier this winter.
- Train in your lunch hour: Not only is this a great break in the day, but this will leave you feeling re-energised for a productive afternoon.
- Involve a training buddy: Exercising is always better with a training partner. You can increase your intensity and workout time making it much more effective.
- It doesn't have to cost a thing: Don't commit to expensive gym memberships over winter if you know you won't stick to it. Head out for a jog, or try a YouTube fitness class - you don't even have to leave the house!
- Working out keeps you warm: Getting a sweat will keep those winter chills at bay and save on your heating bill!
- Inhaling through your nose: This can help warm up the air as it has a longer distance to travel to your lungs!
It can be tough to beat the blues when you are faced with long dark and dreary days. But why not try something new by setting yourself up with new active habits – you'll thank yourself for it.
With New Year just around the corner, this could be the first step in making 2019 your best year yet!