Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

Beat the Winter Blues with Exercise

January 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as winter depression, winter blues or seasonal depression is a mood disorder that affects many during the dark, cold winter months. People experience mood changes during the winter that find them sleeping more, having little energy and may also leave them feeling depressed. Adding a good dose of daily exercise can help beat these mood changes.

Stay Consistent
You can only benefit by exercise by staying consistent. Allow yourself time each day to do some kind of physical activity. Visit your gym for a workout and on off days, head out for a walk with the family. If your time schedule is tight, break it up into segments of ten minutes for example. Consistency makes you more productive. The more productive you are, the more you will accomplish.

Strength Train
Strength training has many benefits for you. It will help with looking good and adding to your self esteem. If you tend to gain weight this time of year, the increased muscle mass will help aid those unwanted pounds by boosting your metabolism. You will also have an increase in energy so you will not feel so lethargic all the time and be tempted to sleep so much. If you tend to get sick this time of year, strength training will help boost your immune system.

Do Your Cardio
Cardiovascular exercise holds many benefits for you. It is great for relieving stress. You can run or walk off pent up frustrations, disappointments and anger. You will have more clarity after a bout of aerobic exercise. Cardio exercise increases your metabolism. It will help you control the body weight normally gained this time of year. Your heart will become stronger. You can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart attack risks through regular aerobic exercise.

Add in Friends
Find a fitness buddy. Friends or family can help motivate you and keep you going. If you don’t have someone to join you, attend a group exercise class. Group exercise classes are a great place to make new friends, learn new exercises, and relieve stress. Being social can also help with the feeling of depression.

The benefits of exercise last longer than quick-fixes such as comfort-eating, smoking, or drinking coffee/tea, all of which may contribute to the problem. While exercising you body produces endorphins or feel-good chemicals which will make you feel instantly better and happier. Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Get out there and fight them with daily exercise! You’ll end up benefitting in many other ways.

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Frank Salvatore