At this time of year it’s easy to fall out of your fitness routine and into a schedule
that revolves around comfort food and binge-watching your favourite Netflix shows. While it’s important to take time to relax, too much downtime and not enough health food can take its toll not only on your waistline, but on our mental health. Being physically fit is only one aspect of being healthy, and your mind needs care too. Exercise is a great way to ease anxiety, relieve stress, and achieve full mind and body wellness. We put some tips together to beat that slump and keep your mental and physical health in shape this winter.
Get Outside. After sitting in an office for most of your day, it’s important to get out for fresh air. Try going for a 30 minute walk on your lunch break to boost your mood and productivity throughout the day. After work or on the weekends, try to get an outdoor workout in with winter activities like snowshoeing or a hike, that will leave you feeling energized. If you catch some sunshine, this will help improve your state of mind even more.
Try Meditation. Download a meditation application like Headspace, to help calm
anxiety or a racing mind at night. Meditation can help you sleep, and sufficient rest and a sleep schedule is key to mental fitness. If your body is tired, your mind is foggy and you’re less likely to exercise and eat well. Regularly tuning into your mind and stay centred is an important part of mental health and staying centred. Yoga classes that focus on breathing and self-awareness can also have a similar affect, and assist in washing away stress.
Switch It Up. Going to the gym day in and day out can get boring and repetitive.
Maintain your exercise routine, but change it up. If you're used to running in the warmer months, but get put off by the bad weather, try classes instead. Classes like spin, pilates or kickboxing are great ways to sweat without hitting the gym or being caught in the rain. Try to organize and balance your week to include cardio and strength so you don’t bored, maintain your exercise and get your heart pumping and feel-good endorphins flowing.
Eat Clean and Meal Prep. Winter seems like the perfect time for comfort foods like Mac and cheese and red wine, but too much of these foods will leave you feeling sluggish. Eating well makes you feel good from the inside out, so stick to meals that are nutrient packed and energizing. A salad with lean meat for lunch will leave you feeling much more motivated and productive than fries and a burger. There are also lots of healthy and hearty warm meal recipes that feel comforting, but won’t set you back. And when you need a cheat meal, do it right.
Workout With a Friend. Chatting with friends on a hike or after a hot yoga class is a
great way to lift your spirits and talk about your stress. You’ll have the benefits of
exercising with the added bonus of being social. Talking through any anxiety or burdens in your life can be a great way to remove that weight from your chest.
Maintaining your workout routine is vital to staying happy and healthy. Getting in a
workout after a stressful day at work or when you're feeling down will always boost your mood. Mental and physical health are intertwined, and it’s easy to let them slide, especially when it’s cold and dark outside. Keep exercising regularly, eat well and work on keeping your mind heathy too, in order to maintain a state of full-body wellness.
Written by Katie Tatham. Follow Katie at https://medium.com/@katietatham