Here in Montreal, we’re awaiting our first snowfall, which could arrive as early as tonight. Even if it doesn’t dip below zero where you live, winter’s longer, darker days can take a toll on your mood and your health.
Below, our tips on how to build your resistance and boost your mood during the coming winter months:
1. Go outside and play
Studies show that people who exercise outdoor during winter have a lower incidence of depression and even seasonal affective disorder. Put on your comfy underwear and workout clothes and find an outdoor winter activity that you enjoy. Even walking outside half an hour a day will give you the sunlight and activity that your body craves during the cold months.
2. Eat well
When winter hits, so many people turn to carbohydrates and other rich foods as sources of warmth and comfort. While it’s true that you need to eat more during the cold months, don’t abandon all those fruits and vegetables that you were eating last summer: they are the key to feeling good and staving off winter viruses.
3. Know your immune boosters
If you do start to feel run down, be proactive and explore ways to reverse an ailing immune system before you get sick. Immune boosters that work for us include: restorative yoga, echinacea, acupuncture, reishi mushrooms and astragalus.
4. Keep a positive attitude
Make a point of doing things you enjoy and spending time with people who make you happy: go dancing, work out, and spend time with friends. Make the most of winter fashion; take out your favourite sweaters and scarves and turn winter into a time to celebrate and be fashionable.
5. Sleep more
There’s a reason why animals curl up and hibernate during the winter: It’s what our bodies want to do. Getting your eight hours of sleep each night is one of the best ways to give your body a head start in resisting cold and flu season. And hey: who’s going to argue against being warm and cozy?