How Fitness Can Beat The Winter Blues
During winter we have a tendency to sleep longer, exercise less and spend more time at home – and Swinburne University head of psychological sciences and statistics, Greg Murray, has said these factors are what leads to the “winter blues”.
If exercising less is one of the contributing factors to the blues, let’s look at how fitness can help beat them instead of contribute to them.
Exercise as a mood enhancer
When we exercise, our brain releases endorphins which act as a natural mood enhancer. Not only does this make us feel good but it also gives us a sense of clarity, and can contribute towards stress-relief, helping us feel more productive and creative.
With regular exercise over winter, our happy endorphins are a huge help towards kicking the winter blues.
Exercise and an increased immune system
Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens the immune system, helping it to fight off viral and bacterial infections. Specifically, during exercise blood pumps around the body and immune cells circulate quicker, helping them to rid the body of any infections.
When we’re in good health we tend to be:
- More productive at work and home
- Take less sick days
So it makes sense that a healthy immune system during winter contributes to us feeling happy, especially when there are an abundance of nasty cold and flu germs hanging around. Exercise to socialise Spending more time at home during the colder months can contribute to our winter blues. Heading out for dinner with friends may seem like a big effort when it’s cold outside and you’re comfy at home – so head to the gym instead! Better still, join a class or group training session or train with a friend and you’ll get to socialise with others as well as ticking off a workout while you’re there – a win-win. Exercise to feel good Fitness is a big contributor to feeling healthy, strong and good about ourselves, increasing our self-esteem and confidence. We need to be the strongest version of ourselves so we don’t let those blues beat us – so exercise, exercise, exercise and feel good about yourself for it!