At this time of year, it’s safe to say that we never really feel like ourselves. In summer, we’re always so full of life and positive, but it’s so much easier to feel the exact opposite during winter. When the days are shorter, the nights are darker, and both are so much colder, it’s definitely hard to keep motivated. And that can often impact on your health. It’s so easy to find yourself wanting to hibernate a little more, and that can always lead to negative side effects. So it’s more important than ever that we take the time to make conscious lifestyle changes that can improve our health levels overall. But what?
It’s only natural that you’re going to want to eat more and workout less right now. Our bodies want to store some fat to keep us warm. And when it’s so dark and cold all of the time, the last thing you want to do is get up and go for a run. So we tend to see much more of the couch at this time of year. However, if you’re ready to shake yourself out of the funk, and you want to be able to get through to spring in as healthy a state as possible, you’re going to want to do what you can to make a change. Covering of five main areas of your life, here are a few ideas that can help.
First up, let’s take a look at the fitness side of things. Because there are going to be changes that you can make here to make sure your health is at its best.
Focus On Strength
During the summer, it’s easy to want to focus on your cardio workouts. Not only is it nice to go for a run when the weather is warm, but you often want to make sure you shave off those last few pounds to feel good in yourself too. But at this time of year, you should focus on strength. Work with a personal trainer or teach yourself the exercises. Then push yourself to grow, because winter is the perfect time to add on some muscle before the summer season begins.
Workout First Thing
This is probably going to be something that you really don’t want to do. But it’s something that you should do. Because getting your workouts in early will really help. Not only will they be done and out of the way, freeing up your evenings, but you will also get more energy for the day ahead. And this can be essential to help you any seasonal affective disorder symptoms.
Take More Rest Days
And finally, one that you’re probably going to like – rest more. Rest days are so important for your workouts. They make them more effective! And during winter, when you naturally want to relax more anyway, it’s great to let your body be for a little. Because it’s never healthy to be overworked.
Next, we need to talk food. Because you should definitely be making some diet changes at this time of year. And they’re not always going to be what you think!
Adjust Your Macros
During the summer, you were probably a little more conscious about the carb side of your macros. And that’s okay, but just like you don’t have to be carrying out too much cardio, you also don’t have to cut back on your carbs either. During winter, change your macros around so that you’re eating more carbs. It’s cold, you want to work on your strength, and you’re going to need more energy, so you will need more carb based foods in your diet.
Work On Those Winter Nutrients
But at the same time, you should be focusing on the main nutrients that your body needs at this time of year. Winter nutrition is essential is you’re going to survive the next few months in one piece. You’re going to get less Vitamin D naturally at this time of year, due to the sun not being out as much – so you need to stock up on that. But at the same time, Vitamin C is important to keep your immune system strong too.
Relax A Little
And in general, just allow yourself to relax a bit. If you’re eating well and you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals that you need, feel free to indulge in some of your favorite foods a bit more. As long as you’re not overeating or eating too many unhealthy foods on a regular basis, there’s no reason why you can’t bulk up a bit before summer.
But there are also things that you can try to do at home during the winter that will help to keep you much healthier all round.
Clear The Clutter
Whether you believe it or not, an untidy home really does impact on how you feel. Clutter can impact your health and actually stress you out. It will make you late and feel on edge! So get yourself together and have a good old tidy up. You will feel so much better in yourself for it.
Wake Up Earlier
Okay, so it’s highly unlikely that you’re actually going to want to do this one, but you should. Because waking up early, even when it’s dark and depressing outside, is a great way to boost your energy levels and find more motivation. And in winter, they are two things that all of us need.
Start A Bedtime Routine
And from here, you should also be thinking about getting yourself into a bit of a routine before bed. If you do spend your evenings relaxing in front of the TV or reading, then you’ve got all the time in the world to work through a bedtime routine that will help you to wind down properly in the evenings and help you to get the quality sleep you need too.
And it’s the same with your working world too. We all know that we’re a little demotivated at work during winter, but you can definitely change that – and here’s how!
Pack Proper Lunches
At work, you’re going probably going to be thinking about lunch all morning at this time of year. It’s cold, you’re tired, you have no energy, and you want that midday break to get you through the rest of the day. But it’s not going to be able to do that if you’re not packing up the lunches you need. So get yourself some hot lunch inspiration and spend more time making up the meals that will get you through the day and keep you well-fed too.
Set Your To-Do List The Night Before
When you get into work and you have to figure out what’s on the agenda today, you can start to get stressed out with the amount you have to do. So, you’re going to be able to help yourself out by planning this the evening before. At the end of every day, write up what you need to do for the next day. Then, you can switch off in the evenings knowing what you have to do for the next day, and just get on with it when the morning comes.
Make A Fuss Of Fridays
Nobody likes Mondays. So, to make them more manageable, try to make more of a fuss about Fridays. Look forwards to them, plan things for lunchtime or after work, and generally work through your week knowing that the weekend is in sight. There’s no motivation like it!
And finally, you’ve also got your mental health to be thinking about. It’s so easy to just pretend that you’re okay, and that you’re not stressed out when you are. But that will only make your health worse. So here’s how to handle your mental health in winter.
First up, it’s a biggie, because you’re going to want to learn to switch off after work a little more. It’s easy to get yourself stressed in the evenings, especially if you have a lot to get done. But you’re going to want to try and relax as much as possible. When you can kick back and relax your mind, you’ll sleep better, and your mind and body will thank you for it.
Next, you’re going to want to get a little cozier. Because it is cold and dark and depressing, and you might not want to fill your evenings with fun like you do in summer. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, cozy up on the couch, start a new box set and let yourself kick back a little.
Take Some Me Time
Finally, you have every right to some guy time. You’re not in the mood to be all that active right now, but you should still take some time out for yourself. Do something you love, no matter what it is. Or plan something for spring. Just be sure to give yourself the time you need to relax and it will work wonders for your health.