Get-Happy Tips for the Winter
By February each year, I have burned through my patience for any exercise equipment that is parked indoors. I long to soak up some “outdorphins.’ The only problem is, what about those freezing temperatures? Experts advise that layering warm clothes for outdoor exercise can help beat the cold. Fabrics that are designed to wick moisture away from skin are especially helpful for keeping perspiration from turning icy cold against the skin. You can borrow from the skier’s wardrobe by layering long underwear and using hats, ski gloves, neck gaiters, and even face masks. There are even battery-heated gloves, jackets, and socks. Hand and foot-warmer packets are available as well. It’s surprising how pleasant a brisk winter walk can be if you are warm.
Getting outside in the winter can combat the seasonal depression that many suffer from as soon as the days get short and cold weather hits. Just a few minutes outdoors can reshape the gloom of winter and uplift spirits. For the days that outdoor activity isn’t possible, there are special lights available that stimulate the serotonin in the brain in the same way as sunlight. This process is any easy to fix for seasonal depression.
When all else fails, the good old standard workout is a good fall-back. Cardio exercise is known to cause happy-making changes in the brain. Yoga and Pilates, which emphasize deep breathing, are also effective in lifting gloom. Yoga and Pilates DVD’s for all levels are available on the market and you don’t have to turn into a pretzel to gain the benefits.
If you haven’t been active for awhile, start slowly and work up to a more vigorous pace. If you’re in shape already, challenge yourself in a new and different way. Either way, the key to beating the winter blahs is to keep moving!
- Pam Brooks