How I Battle The Affects of Winter on My Health

Winter is a tough time of year. The days are short, you wake in the morning and it's dark, and it's dark by the time the kids get home at the end of the day. The weather is generally bad, and even if you do manage to get outside you don't want to spend much time there. All that can have a bad effect on your health, you end up feeling like staying home all the time, eating your favourite snacks, and just hiding away until the sun comes back - almost like hibernating. Battling this feeling is the best way to stay healthy during the winter months.

How winter makes me feel

The alarm goes off in a morning and I drag myself out of bed to wake my boys and get ready for the day. It's still dark. The sun won't be up for another couple of hours and by then my boys will have left the house. During the winter months this happens every day and it makes it that much harder to drag myself out of bed. I love my bed, it's cosy and warm and I can rest when I'm in it. But of course I can't stay there - unfortunately.

How I Battle The Affects Of Winter On My Health | Sleep is great!
Ah sleep...

Getting up feeling motivated is a rare occurrence during winter because it's so difficult to get myself going. There's not enough sunlight in a morning to give me a boost, and that makes me want to eat. And I don't mean the healthy food either. When the weather is bad I want to eat bad food, things like stew, burgers, and chocolate, and convincing myself otherwise is a constant battle.

How to battle winter's affects

Exercise is the best way to keep your motivation up as well as keeping the cravings at bay. I try to get exercise most days, and being a writer who works at home I tend to do my exercise indoors. I have a cross-trainer (or elliptical), and a treadmill at home and I use them most days. Or rather, I have started to use them most days - it's been a while but I now realise that doing the exercise helps me feel better.
Willpower plays a huge part, which can prove difficult sometimes. Making yourself do the exercise is tough, but once you realise how much it helps it's easier to do it.

How I Battle The Affects Of Winter On My Health | Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel better.
Join an exercise class or go it alone.

There's also the healthy eating to contend with. Having those awesome winter foods is good once in a while but when you start to have them daily you're going to gain weight. This year I am trying to curb the snacking during the day, I have pomegranate seeds on hand if I get peckish and protein bars for when I've finished my exercise. I'm drinking more water (or squash) and reducing my coffee intake.

How it helps

Okay so I've only been at this a few weeks, but I am feeling better. In fact I was feeling better after just one week. The exercise gets me going at the start of the day and then I'm motivated to get on with other stuff afterwards. The water keeps me hydrated and also helps to curb the hunger, and I'm slowly losing weight.

That's not to say I'm perfect at keeping it up, sometimes I want to sit all day and do nothing. And that's okay, as long as I don't give up completely. 

While the winter days can feel tough and darkness seems to last far longer than it should, as long as you battle that hibernation feeling you will feel better.

How do you battle the affects of winter?

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