It’s after the holidays and, in many part of the country, it’s cold outside. But you can make the most of the season by making sure the weather doesn’t disrupt your journey to better well-being. Here are just a few reminders on how you can keep up with your health and wellness goals for a healthier, happier winter.
Even if it’s cold outside, you can still keep moving! Whether you exercise indoors or outside, make sure you get the minimum recommended amount of exercise per week:
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both. “Moderate” is defined as being not quite out of breath and developing a sweat after 10 minutes, as you would with a brisk walk. “Vigorous” activity would make you develop quick, deep breathing and you would sweat after a few minutes, as you would with running.
- Strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice. With weights or some type of resistance equipment, you should do at least a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions. It should be hard enough to make your muscles tired after three sets at most.
You can earn up to 25 Points a month by setting a fitness habit through Go365. On the Go365 mobile app (Apple; Android), you can choose the type, frequency, and duration of the fitness habit and then submit photo proof that you kept up the good work. These habits can range from taking the stairs to parking further away or walking your dog.
Take a vacation
During the winter, taking a trip can get you away from your usual routines and environments, especially when people feel extra temptation to stay inside. You can get away to warmer climates with a getaway, or you can travel to a cold location where there may be fewer people and lower costs.
Behavior change experts believe that people can start a new habit when they’re away from their usual routines, like during the weekend, a holiday, or on a vacation. So, taking a trip may also be good timing for turning a new leaf, like quitting smoking or eating healthier. The Five Minute Journal app (Apple; Android; $4.99) is designed to help you create and maintain positive thinking patterns. You only need to check in twice a day to record your thoughts. If you connect Five Minute Journal to your Go365 app (Apple; Android), you can keep a weekly mindfulness log and earn up to 10 Points a week.
Recognize Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is a type of depression that occurs in 1 to 2 percent of the population when they have less exposure to sunlight, so it happens most frequently in winter. However, some believe that as many as 10 to 20 percent of people may experience less severe symptoms of depression during this season. Common symptoms of SAD include loss of interest in activities that usually bring pleasure or joy, troubles with mental concentration, loss of appetite, and changes in sleeping habits.
Some people can cope with less sunlight by making sure to take walks outdoors. Others may use full-spectrum light bulbs that can mimic daylight, or change their wall coverings or window curtains to maximize incoming light during the day.
Regardless of the time of year, if you believe you may be experiencing any type of depression, see a qualified health professional for guidance and advice.
Winter may not be thought of as a time of year with the best fruits and vegetables, but some produce does peak in colder temperatures. Always be sure to look up what’s seasonal and local when looking for the best produce. However, as a general rule, foods like clementines, kale, cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes are great during the winter. Plus, you can track your food intake all year by keeping a food diary with your Go365 mobile app (Apple; Android), earning up to 10 Points a week.