As I sit here with the wind howling down the chimney and rain lashing against the windows it is easy to understand why so many of us feel like crawling under the duvet and hibernating through the coldest months of the year.
But luckily rain clouds pass and it turns out that beyond the grey sky there are actually a few good reasons worth venturing outside for this winter.
Beat the Winter Blues
Time spent in the light of the winter sun can offer a helping hand when it comes to those living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is one that has received a lot of attention over the last few years and although it is not as simple as a winter walk to deal with, spending time outdoors and in direct sunshine can offer you some of the light needed to alleviate a number of the disorders symptoms. SAD is caused by low levels of vitamin d and a reduction in the body’s melatonin and serotonin levels, which are thought to be caused by a reaction in a number of people to limited or decreased exposure to sunlight during the year’s darker months. This can leave those suffering with a biological condition that has very similar symptoms to depression.
Try a little wander in the winter sun even for just half an hour a day to make sure you are getting as much natural light as possible during the year’s shortest days.
But, if you do find yourself struggling with the effects of SAD don’t suffer alone, get in touch with someone that can offer support for your condition.
Find your Winter Workout
It’s a cliché but summer bodies really are made in the winter. Even though this time of the year is spent wearing jumpers and layer upon layer of clothing in an attempt to keep warm, now is the time to start thinking about your health and body goals. All too often people leave it until the last minute to try and lose weight for the warmer weather and that can lead to unhealthy diets and exercise routines that in the end may leave you temporarily lighter but ultimately much less healthy. A better thing to do is to establish a new way of life, new routines that are fun, active and sustainable. One way to start this is by getting outside this winter and avoiding the temptation to eat your own body weight in Christmas chocolates. Not only does exercise in the cold burn more fat as out bodies have to use extra energy to keep warm but it also gets your heart pumping which encourages an increase in the level of your body’s natural virus-killing cells which will come in handy for fighting off all the coughs and colds at this time of year.
Discover a Winter Wonderland
It would be impossible to complete this list without including the point that being outside in winter is actually incredibly beautiful. Even though many of us live in areas that will not experience the crisp crunch of deep snow beneath our boots we can take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of the world around us. The great thing is that not only will a winter walk allow you to discover your local area and experience the excitement of the great outdoors but according to Stanford University researchers walking will also lead to increased levels of creativity and an increase in brain function and mental focus. So, if you are feeling uninspired or if you simply want to get a head start on planning the year ahead why not wrap up warm and head outside to get the ideas flowing.
The best part about spending time outside this December is that once you have enjoyed the winter wonderland beyond your front door you can head back indoors for some well earned snuggle time under your trusty duvet.
#winterwonderland #winterwalks #outdoorliving #winteractivities
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