Accredited exercise physiologist, Jennifer Smallridge, shows us how to stage our own wintervention to beat the winter blues and keep the summer vibes burning through the colder months.
So it appears that Jon Snow wasn’t wrong when he said “Winter is coming”… brrrr! The good news is, the steady drop in temperature doesn’t mean that you have to hibernate. We know that the cold weather is associated with less exercise, lower mood and an increased susceptibility to the bugs that are going around.
So perhaps its time to stage your very own 3-step wintervention and ensure your health doesn’t freeze over this winter.
1. You’re only cold when you’re standing still
Rugging up is super important if you’re going to brave the elements – warm gloves, warm socks, some cute earmuffs – but don’t let the chill kill your exercise vibes. Your body has its very own thermostat and if you start exercising, your core temperature will go up!
Contracting muscles get the blood flowing and give off heat as a by-product of their metabolic processes – a total winter win-win for active bodies. David Nieman, lead researcher from Appalachian State University in the US found that in one study, people who went for a brisk walk several times per week reduced their sick days by 40%. Bonus points if you can get out in the sunlight and naturally boost your Vitamin D – essential for mood and immunity!
If you’re still not sold on braving the cold, perhaps you can seek out some heat. Hot yoga, heated pools and infrared saunas are all simple ways that you can stay healthy, active and most importantly, warm.
2. Teas, please
Just as accredited practicing dietitian Ashleigh Hamilton showed us, wrapping your mittens around a mug of tea might be just what you need to defrost your winter mood! Green tea in particular is great for health – it’s been linked with lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Why not double down on the benefits and hit your probiotic goals at the same time with PERKii’s Elderflower & Green Tea?
3. Do as the Danish do
Have you heard of ‘hygge’? It translates roughly to ‘cosiness’, and it might just explain why the Danes are the happiest people in the world! Whilst the winter months can lead to overindulging in an effort to feel warm and content, hygge is the concept of getting completely comfortable – without gaining an unwanted winter coat. Think: the warm glow of your favourite scented candle, a roaring fireplace, snuggly bed socks, a chunky knit blanket, enjoying the closeness of your friends and family.