Busting the Winter Blues

Every year I write on this subject because it’s REAL.  I love Indiana, but this time of year is hard on Hoosiers.  It’s cold…VERY cold.  It’s dark and dreary; and when the sun does shine bright, it’s just a tease because it knows we won’t come out from the warm indoors.  We crave a break from it…a way to take the chill off and lift our spirits.  I have some suggestions that help me with the winter blues, and while it’s not the beach, these “remedies” can help your body and mood as we wait for Indiana to make up her mind.

Warm from the inside out

While we all have our own preference on how hot or cold we enjoy being, all bodies function best when the outside temperature is closer to the temperature inside our body.  When it is cold out, our body redirects blood away from our hands, feet and other extremities to preserve energy and keep the vital organs at appropriate temperatures.  This is a great design, but it can leave even healthy joints stiff and achy. Use activity to counter this and get some relief.  As your body moves, your cardiovascular system senses the need to circulate extra blood through your joints and muscles, bringing heat with it.  Also, when muscle fibers move, they create friction, allowing you to heat up from the inside out.

Read a book to reach your goals

It can be difficult to be as active as usual in the winter, but that doesn’t mean you need to let your fitness goals slip.  Stimulate your brain by learning something new this time of year that you can apply now, or when it gets warmer, to help you stay on track.  Whether you’re getting started running or training to run a mini-marathon, I recommend Ready to Run by Dr. Kelly Starrett.  If you’re goal is to clean up your eating and offer better nutrition to your family, I recommend Against All Grain by Danielle Walker or Eat Clean by Tosca Reno.

Try a new activity

Break up your day with a change of pace and atmosphere by trying a new activity.  You don’t need to do anything super-intense, just pick an activity that interests you, and move your body.

  • Cardio class – Spinning, stepping, boxing, kicking, or dancing. Lots of great choices for every person to get moving.
  • Go Climbing – I know a group of ladies who indoor rock climb and they always buzz about it for days afterward! (http://hoosierheights.com/indianapolis/)
  • Yoga – I swear Blooming Life Yoga Studio & School is the warmest place in Zionsville right now. There you will find a warm environment – from the temperature of the room to the smiles on their faces.  You will move and feel better after each class.  (30 S. Elm Street, Zionsville (317) 800-4039)

This winter has been EXCEPTIONAL and doesn’t promise to pass without a fight.   Don’t wait on the weather to determine your mood and health.  Be proactive and take boosting your spirits into your own hands.