This time of year is tough for many of us who have to face the cold, snowy, gray days of winter. Having lived in two warm climates; Los Angeles and Miami it is a whole other world once you are dealing with real winter.
First of all there are the shorter days. Somehow when the darkness comes at 4 pm it's ok when it's 60 or 70 degrees but as soon as those temperatures reach the low 30's and 40's it feels so much darker. Then you have the lack of Vitamin D due to lack of sunlight and you can be headed for a real depression.
Most people tend to become sluggish and lazy at this time of year due to the body's natural tendency to slow down to keep warm. The pounds pile on and as the comfort foods march on to your plate and then you have a huge job to do in the spring to shed the excess weight.
There are a number of tips that can save you from this tedious cycle and may even have you sail through winter in tip top shape.
First of all if you can start a routine of exercise at least three days a week for one hour each day it will bring your energy back and make you feel great. Every day for an hour is ideal even if its's just for a brisk walk. Bundle up and take a walk through the woods or even around the neighborhood and you will be getting fresh air, possibly a few rays of sun and moving the toxins out of your body. You can sign up for a class such as yoga, pilates or group exercise. Gyms often offer specials deals in the winter to motivate people to get moving.
Another good habit is to have a schedule and stick to it. Such as getting up every day at the same time even though it may now be dark out and going out, despite the weather.
Eating foods with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, rolled oats, whole grain breads and pastas is beneficial during the winter months to stave off cravings for sugar and foods with empty calories. It is naturally found mainly in fish oils, fatty fish, and to a lesser extent in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and certain mushrooms. Vitamin D naturally made by your body when you expose your skin to the sun, is easy to obtain through foods such as milk, fatty fish, oysters, mushrooms, eggs, soy products such as tofu and orange juice, and can also simply be consumed as a supplement.
It is a project to make it through the winter without getting the blues and all the baggage that can come with it. So get out there and move, eat healthy carbs and drink plenty of water and soon spring will grace you with its presence.