“Welcome winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy but I love you nonetheless.” — Terri Guillemets
Welcome to the very middle of Winter 2019! And if you’re wishing that winter is over already, cheer up: now that winter solstice is behind us, we’re gaining 2 minutes of additional sunshine each day. Hooray!
If you’re stuck on how to put some spring in your step the rest of this winter, why not try some (or all!) of these out.
1. Beat cabin fever
It’s so tempting to stay indoors all day when it’s dark and blowing a gale outside — or even when it’s sunny but arctic. And yet the leading cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder is the lack of sunlight, which does things to our hormones. We need sunlight to produce melatonin, which is what tells our body it’s time for bed. Sunlight also affects serotonin, which regulates our moods, appetite, and sleep. So get out there and catch some sunshine!
2. Heat up your mornings
It’s no secret that exercise makes you hot and sweaty, but it also means that your increased body temperature also boosts your metabolism when you’re working out. In fact, muscle has a higher metabolic rate than body fat, so the more muscle mass you gain by exercising, the higher your metabolism will be, even during periods of rest!
We recommend kickstarting your mornings with DC Fit because it gets you out of the house, warms you up, and leaves you with a heavy dose of happy hormones so you get extra bounce through your winter day.
3. Darling, put the light on for me
Hitting the snooze button hard and often nowadays? Why not try playing with your lights. Turns out that the right lighting conditions make waking up (and going to bed!) far easier and enjoyable. It’s like a brain hack for getting out of bed and has to do with understanding your circadian rhythms enough to trick yourself awake.
4. Don’t lay off the carbs
Your brain relies on carbohydrates to produce serotonin (the big mood, appetite and sleep regulator), and protein is actually what suppresses serotonin production so try eating your carbs before your protein, or having protein-lighter meals during winter. Listen to your body: if you’re craving carbs through winter, chances are it’s your brain crying out for more serotonin.
But eat healthy and smart: complex carbohydrates like broccoli, spinach, zucchinis and lentils take longer to digest, meaning they don’t cause the sudden spikes in blood sugar that can run riot with your mood. Conversely, greasy carbs (mmm, pizza!) give you a delightful hit but then you get sluggish after. Not so good.
5. Count down to Spring
There’s nothing like dangling a little carrot at the end to make it all worthwhile, so why not plan a little reward for yourself in spring that you’d want to work towards? Find something that would motivate you to get moving this winter, maybe even gamify it. We’re a big believer of fun at Dance Central because it works!