Exercise Away The Winter Blues

Jennifer Lutz for True Health Initiative
Does anyone else feel really, really blah?  It’s still dark when you roll out of bed.  It’s already dark when you leave work.  And, oh yeah, its really, really, really cold.  So yes, the last thing you probably want to do is exercise, but its one of the most important things you can do to fight off those winter blues. 

Collective research gathered by Reuters reports that a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of depression by 25%.  Harvard health reports on studies that have shown thirty-five minutes of exercise five days a week  to be equal to Zoloft in treating depression. In addition to shorter, colder days, we tend to be a bit less active during the winter months, which may only add to our winter woes.

So this all sounds great, right?  But you’re too down to motivate yourself, huh?  We have some suggestions.  First, find something you enjoy.  Second, do that thing first.  Third, make it part of your routine.  Personally, I have never been someone who goes for a morning run, especially in the winter.  But I love stretching and I love coffee.  Setting time aside in the morning to drink coffee and stretch while rocking out to my favorite music can change my entire day.  Maybe it could change yours too.

Not about to wake up even earlier?  Walk.  Yes, its cold, but you have a coat and hat, no?  Maybe you don’t walk all the way to work, but you can walk to the express train ten blocks away.  Try it, for just a week.  You can always quit next week.

Need a way to perk up after a long workday?  Remember that at-home gym routine we suggested?  What if after coming home from work, you did a fifteen minute workout.  Before anything else; try changing clothes, washing your face and moving around a bit.  Again, just give it a try.  Treat yourself like someone you really, really, really like.