Take heart – winter is halfway done!
The winter months can be tough on people who don’t ski or skate; who don’t like cold weather, snow, or ice storms; or who can’t escape to warmer climates. They’re the folks who shiver when bundled up, try to combine all their outings into one to minimize going out in the elements, and feverishly mark off the days of winter on an oversized calendar. Truth be told, “they” are more than likely “most of us”!
And even though our winter to date has been relatively calm (knock on wood), just the nature of winter in New England keeps people in their homes and perhaps, on their couches, more often than during other seasons. (Feb 9 note: this was originally written on January 30 when winter had been relatively calm. Not so much today! But the points still remain the same…) What can we do to shake off the winter blues and keep ourselves healthy without changing our winter habitats?
You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to engage in some healthy on-demand television. No, not binge-watching The Crown (although it’s fabulous and fun to do) but tuning into the on-demand exercise programs that are now available on cable. Check out your choices on your cable provider’s on-demand page. Options for yoga (from gentle to advanced), cardio workouts (from 5 minutes to 30 minutes) and even walking workouts (seriously, they’re pretty good!) exist. If there’s nothing that suits you, power up the computer and see what’s online there that best meets your needs. Your local library also typically has a host of workout DVDs that you can borrow to watch.
If you can’t find anything you like to follow on tv or computer but you still find yourself in front of either of them, try walking in place while you watch. Alternate with some leg lifts; do some stretches; anything that requires movement. Something is better than nothing. The whole point is to get up and move.
You’ll find that exercising not only helps keep you in better physical shape but also boosts your emotional and mental well being. Exercise releases those feel good hormones – endorphins. It also helps relax muscles and relieve tension. So if you’re bothered at all by the winter blues, get up and move. Add smiling to your exercise plan too. . . it does wonders for the face muscles while making you feel a lot more positive!