How to beat the winter blues
Winter can be the hardest season for anyone, mostly because people don’t like to go out in the cold weather. This leads to depression, lack of motivation and it is all underscored by a lack of movement all together. People stay in bed longer, they eat more out of boredom or as a way to feel better, and they end up just like our animal counterparts who hibernate; plump and ready to survive sleeping through a winter. Trouble is, that’s not our role as humans, we’re expected to remain efficient, capable, aware and on the move through any season. Even if winter isn’t one of your best seasons, there are ways to avoid the winter blues to help maintain your health and fitness, regardless the time of year.
1. Make mornings count!
If you don’t like the cold weather, dress for it! It might take a little extra motivation in the mornings to get out and jog, run or even walk, so take it from a nice strong cup of coffee, and keep that motivation going by picturing the healthy hearty breakfast you have planned for when you return. By going out first thing in the morning, you set a standard for energy that remains throughout the day. You’ll feel more energized, more cognitively aware, and completely capable all day long.
2. Keep active throughout the day
Being active is not the same as being busy. Think of your body as a perpetual motion machine, something is always operating, moving, always running. Our biology never turns itself off while we’re living, and we can learn something from it. Even if your work keeps you at a desk for 8 hours a day, you are able to keep active and not just busy. Get up from your desk, keep a couple small weights in a desk drawer, and during conference calls, walk around while you speak. You can keep the weights moving as you talk, walk and perform other activities. You can even get ankle weights and lift one leg off the floor then the other repetitively all day too.
3. Don’t stop when you get home
A long workday is usually tolerable when you know you get to go home and relax. Relaxing is inherently fine, provided you don’t just stop altogether. Going home, rummaging through the refrigerator, and slumping into a comfortable chair to eat and watch television is not relaxing. When you get home, consider soaking your feet for 30 minutes while reading a book or magazine. This allows your body to unwind and your mind to wander somewhere pleasant while not stopping all your body’s functions altogether. If the idea of yoga sounds like something you might enjoy, look up meditation or stretching exercises that will allow your body to remain awake and focused, without halting your metabolic systems.
4. Eat right
This sounds so simple, but it is so often done badly especially in winter. The cold weather makes us choose comfort foods over healthy foods, it’s actually a genetic predisposition from our early ancestors. Winter was the harshest time of year for nomadic people for whom food was never a guarantee. If you did manage to get a large animal in a day’s hunting, it was time to glut on as much food as possible, to create fat stores that would help survive the long winter. We no longer have to concern ourselves with where our next meal is coming from, but that instinct remains. Comfort foods are the foods that release pleasure sensations in our bodies. Things like chocolate, ice cream, any foods high in sugar or carbs, and foods with high sodium and oils. Our instincts tell us to pack on the pounds, but it’s up to us to ignore those cravings in favor of foods we know are better for us.
5. Make supper the smallest
Regardless of whether you’re a laborer, or a white collar worker, the biggest meal of your day should always be a late breakfast or early lunch. This allows your body to maximize your fat burning potential and to allow your metabolism to work for you. Eating the biggest meal earlier in the day provides fuel as energy that you can pull from throughout your day, to avoid feeling sluggish or tired, and to keep your mind sharp and focused. Supper should always be the lightest meal, because your activity level will drop during and after supper time. You don’t want to go to bed still digesting your supper. At night, our body’s processes slow to a crawl, and digestion happens very slowly. While you’re sleeping, your body won’t see the food you ate as necessary for fuel purposes, and it will pack it away in the storage vault for later. Eating a large supper and going to bed is not a good idea.
6. Make your ideals visible
Keep a photo of yourself at your peak somewhere that you will see it easily. You can even use a photo of what you’d like to look like, or of the woman you idealize the most. Whatever will keep your motivation humming during the cold winter days and nights works. It is so much easier to rationalize going out when it’s hot and sunny, walks on the beach, swimming, cycling, there’s not much you can’t do when it’s gorgeous out. In winter, it can be a trial to just get out of your warm blankets on a weekend. To avoid the temptation to do just that, keep those pictures handy, and use them to remind yourself that you have a goal; a reason to push forward and keep at it, because winter does not last forever, and it is gone more quickly than the weight you could potentially gain in the meantime.
Winter can be beaten, and there’s no reason to get despondent during this time. Not everyone is into winter sports, but it doesn’t have to stop you from staying active. Adonis Golden Ratio helps you to ensure that the seasons never interfere with your optimal physique, and these tips will see you thrive through winter, instead of simply surviving it.