EXERCISE CAN HELP BEAT THE WINTER BLUES.
When it's cold & daylight hours are scarce, it's common to experience a change in mood. You may feel more lethargic than usual & begin to experience sadness, decreased motivation & less interest in leaving the house or being social. This phenomenon is often called the "winter blues'. A more severe version of the 'winter blues' is SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is characterised by feelings of depression during the winter months followed by a significant improvement in mood when the seasons change to spring & summer. SAD has many of the same symptoms as the 'winter blues' but with much more intensity, it may help to discuss these symptoms with a friend or Health Care Professional. However, If you think you may have a case of the 'winter blues', the good news is that exercise can help alleviate the symptoms - you just need to beat that dreaded feeling of lethargy to make it happen. So how does exercise help?
Exercise releases endorphins - YES! Endorphins! These are the feel-good hormones that help improve your mood. You know that awesome feeling you get after a workout? (once you have recovered) - yep - endorphins. One of the reasons we get the "winter blues' is because we spend more time sitting huddled around heaters rather than moving (which warms you up too - just sayin'). We tend to exercise less, are less active & more stationary, which can make us feel tired & lethargic - this can in turn make us feel lazy & a little bit bad for not being active. So get off the couch, brave the cold & get some of those endorphins flowing through your system.
It's good for your self esteem to feel productive & active - I already mentioned how sitting around can make you feel lazy & maybe a little guilty... well this can eventually lead to you feeling down-on-yourself - so change the story. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a client say 'I really couldn't be bothered coming today, but now I'm so glad I did' at the end of a workout - I could probably retire! You don't have to repeat the same pattern every winter, make a change this year - remain active! Push-on through the cold months & feel the difference in your mood.
You get to have some fun with your gym buddies - Working out with your gym buddies can defiantly be a mood lifter! You can have a chat, catch up on the (non-gym related) goss, listen to some up-beat tunes & perhaps workout some of your mutual frustrations around the weather!
You get a change of scenery - It can be good for your temperament just to get out of the house for a change of scenery. Ever heard of 'cabin fever'? It's a real thing for me! It can be great heading to the gym for some different surroundings - especially if you are attending an outdoor session like lean 2 run (don't be afraid - you'll warm up). The fresh air & beautiful scenery Eltham has to offer is enough to improve any mood.
So there you have it! Some great reasons to commit to exercising through Winter. Now all you have to do is book a session & make sure you make it an endorphin-pumping mood-altering fun-fest! Easy peasy!