We understand that for some people December can be a difficult time of year for many reasons. Perhaps you’re a caregiver, maybe you are lonely, or you might be feeling the financial strain.
We’ve put together some information to help you through this month, and to look after your wellbeing.
Today we’re discussing how you can stay active during the winter to help aid your mental health.
Why should we get active?
Being physically active has lots of positive effects on our mental health. On a chemical level, your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which interact with receptors in your brain to reduce pain and trigger positive feelings. Regular exercise can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and help sleep. People who are active have a 48% less likely chance of experiencing depression.
Being active doesn’t have to be extreme or expensive, and it doesn’t require a gym membership. There are ways to keep on the move and look after your health.
How can I be active?
Walking to the shops
If you run out of time in the evenings to take that daily walk, think about walking during an activity in your daily routine, like if you need to go to pick up something from the shops, or during your lunch break at work. Look at your daily routine and see if there are opportunities there to swap your car for an on-foot route.
Home workouts are perfect for winter. If you prefer to stay indoors during the bad weather, then checking out a workout video on the internet could be the solution for you.
Fitness with a friend
Exercising with a friend means that going out in the dark is less daunting and you can fit in your daily run or walk. You’re more likely to stay motivated if you get active with a friend, and it’s a great opportunity to catch up and connect with someone.
You can find local sporting groups near you.
Team sports and local activities will often have facilities that allow you to get active and play sports through the winter, whether these are indoor facilities or lit areas outdoors. If you’re wanting to get into a sporting activity, check for local groups near you. It’s a great way to make new friends and learn skills!
Remember to wrap up warm!
If you want to exercise but are worried about going out in the cold then put a few layers on inside and start a warm-up before going outdoors, this will give you a chance to warm your body up before you face the weather. Try walking a few laps of a room or jumping up and down on the spot until you feel like you are heating up and your heart rate is rising.
Yoga inside is a way to remain active without bracing against the cold or worrying about it becoming too dark outside.
But remember, being active doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be standing up and tidying a room, going up and down the stairs or going for a walk to the local shop.