Fitness Tips

Stay Happy This Winter

Winter with its frigid temperatures, short days and long nights can have us feeling depressed and lethargic. Insufficient sunlight can affect neurotransmitter production and our mood. There are actions we can take to boost our mood and energy this winter.

  • Increase your exposure to light. If it is not outside, maybe it’s a light box. A light box stimulates sunlight and helps regulate the brain chemicals that affect our brain. Just 30 minutes a day under the light can improve your mood.
  • Get going. Exercise is proven to improve your mood, make you feel more positive and even boost your energy. Take it outdoors and try a fun snow sport like sledding, skiing or snowshoeing. Throw a toe warmer in your shoes and head over to Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center to complete your holiday exercise challenge.
  • Practice aromatherapy. Don’t you feel happy when you smell Christmas cookies? Aromatherapy is about using aromas to induce certain feelings. Peppermint essential oil can be used to boost energy, while lavender is widely used for relaxation. Find a smell that appeals to you and work it into your day.
  • Practice good nutrition. Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal and potatoes, can help your brain produce more of the neurotransmitter serotonin that improves mood. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can aid in reducing anxiety and depression.
  • Volunteer. Whether you help neighbors watch their kids or volunteer at a local soup kitchen, the act of helping someone and putting their needs above yours will improve your mood.
  • Get social. After the busy holidays, it’s easy to feel lonely with the quiet that often comes with the beginning of a new year. Having a less busy social calendar can lead to feelings of isolation and sadness. Call a friend and go for a brisk walk to get some sunshine, go out to the movies or plan an evening of fun with some friends.

Get out to Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center to help keep your mood up during the winter! For even more motivation to exercise throughout the season, talk to one of our fitness specialists, call us at (847) 535-7000 or contact us.

Source: ACE Fit

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