Winter Blues? The Importance of Placing your Aesthetic Goals on the Back-burner this Winter Season.

Low on motivation?

Too cold to get up out of bed?

Frustrated that you’re not making progress right now?

Not to worry.

This is the season of rest.

This is the season of hibernation

This is the season of weight gain, yes gain. Gaining weight is physiologically critical this time of year to help regulate body temp, keep you alive, safe and warm.

This is the season to maintain.

This is the season to implement mindfulness strategies like slowing down, yoga, walks, meditation, naps.

This is an entirely different season for your body, your brain and you.

IMG_6891.jpg

I would encourage you to let go on your goals, just a bit. Loosen the reigns and allow your body the chance to “hibernate”. Studies have shown that high intensity interval training (HIIT) can be more depleting during the winter months. As humans, we need both of these stress hormones to help us manage blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.

However, when we find ourselves struggling with “winter blues”, as a result of being exposed to less sunlight our moods dip and soon to follow is our motivation.

So what happens when we push ourselves to diet and workout, despite the very normal lackluster mood we experience in winter? Well, we can push our sympathetic nervous system into overdrive. Resulting in an over production of cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic over expressions of these two hormones is what can negatively impact our health and well being.

We may find that we’re constantly feeling under the weather (scratchy throat or runny nose). A common side effect of physically pushing ourselves too hard when it’s cold out.

We may notice our gut health is slightly “off” (more bloating, less comfort). Too many consumed raw veggies/fruits.

We may find that our internal chatter is louder, more critical as a result of lower mood and less Vitamin D exposure.

We may notice that the more we go to the gym, the less “healthy” we feel. A conflict of your brain’s cues to slow down.

The more salads we eat, the more unsatisfied we’re left. A conflict of the needs for soups and warmer foods.

The more time we spend in front of computers (when the sun goes down) we feel irritable, discomfort and fatigued.

The more we try to push our bodies the more weight we gain. These are all “normal” characteristics that come into play this winter.

My encouragement for you this winter is this:

  1. Utilize this time of the year to decompress and relax.

  2. With less sunlight, turn off work a bit sooner, adjust your bedtime and rest.

  3. Invest in some Vitamin D to help combat less sunlight

  4. Hit your daily “minimums”- the habits you’ve created for yourself that allow you to feel productive, "fulfilled” and healthy (ex. walking my dog everyday)

  5. Nap

  6. Swap smoothies for soups, stews, and broths

  7. Cook down your fruits (Try this applesauce recipe from Jen @ www.yummyhealthyeasy.com)

    1. https://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/homemade-crock-pot-applesauce/

  8. Allow your aesthetics goals (weight, body fat, circumference, appearance) to take a short hiatus this winter.

  9. Walk

  10. Mediate or practice yoga

Experimenting with adjusting your winter health routine might just save you from catching the common cold or beating yourself up for not completing your workout.

Your goals? They’ll still be there in a few months.

Feel free to click below to sign up for my FREE Holiday Enjoyment Course. It’ll help serve as a reminder for you this holiday season.

Additional References:

https://chopra.com/articles/5-reasons-hibernating-during-winter-is-good-for-you

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-benefits-of-winter-hi_b_14204844