Starting a health and fitness routine during the winter months

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Graphic by Kash Patel

During the winter months, I notice that I tend to fall into a cold weather “funk” — I’m more moody, I have less energy and my motivation to eat well and exercise regularly is almost non-existent.

Basically, I want to ride out the gloomy weather and lack of sunlight until spring in my bedroom watching Netflix and relying on Uber eats orders — so I end up becoming a slightly less threatening version of a grizzly bear in hibernation.
    Because so many people are driven indoors due to the cold and lack of regular daylight, it’s understandable that we aren’t motivated to be focussed on our physical and mental health.

After all, an estimated two to three per cent of Canadians suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder every year, which heavily impacts our desire to be keeping on top of our everyday health routines.

This year, I told myself that I would try to change this pattern that I fall into and use new techniques to tackle my overall disinterest with working out and eating mindfully.

I complain more than anyone about being outside in uncomfortable conditions, especially if it’s really cold.

It can be really hard to muster up the desire to break a sweat or eat better when the weather outside isn’t really that desirable. But I’ve noticed I always feel better about doing something, rather than nothing.

But I can’t really argue with experts — we need vitamin D from the sun and we don’t get enough of it during the colder months.

Skating, skiing, snowboarding, hiking — whatever Canadian activity it may be, find a pretty place to post about on Instagram and take advantage of the ability to get moving to do something that gives you some amount of joy.

Purchasing winter produce and not shying away from frozen options (they’re just as good as fresh, don’t let the internet trick you into thinking otherwise) can save you a ton of money on overpriced vegetables and fruit.

Looking forward to workouts is something I’m not used to feeling and I’ve learned that finding things that I like doing, which also hold me accountable for completing them, make a world of difference as to whether or not I exercise consistently.

I’ve been testing out different workout apps that encourage me to do some physical activity every day and I’ve been looking into fitness classes at a local workout studio that seem motivating.

Being in a fun space where I’m boxing, participating in a spin class or trying out different yoga routines with upbeat music taught instructors who want to see their classes succeed, is far more enjoyable than slugging away in the gym by myself.   

 It can be really hard to muster up the desire to break a sweat or eat better when the weather outside isn’t really that desirable. But I’ve noticed I always feel better about doing something, rather than nothing.

My mood, however resistant I may be initially, always improves after I do something active and positive for my overall wellbeing and health.

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