Top tips to shrug off winter blues

The warmer weather has hit in some parts of the country and it’s coming in other parts, so now is the time to shrug off the bad habits that can creep up during winter.

Dr Janakan Krishnarajah, who specialises in clinical pharmacology and internal medicine and is the chief medical officer at Entity Health, explains that bad habits creep into our daily lives when the days are shorter and colder and sometimes we need extra motivation to shake off the lethargy.

“We all rejoice when spring finally arrives and gives us respite from the cold temperatures and long nights,” he says. “However, during winter many people can often get into bad habits that can carry into the warmer months.

“During winter, an increase in viruses and shorter days can lead to more time spent indoors, leaving many Aussies feeling more prone to tiredness, a lower mood and a general slump in their overall wellbeing.

“People often tend to eat heavier and richer meals that don’t provide us with all the necessary vitamins, nutrients and minerals that we need. That can lead to deficiencies. Good health involves not only nutritional health, but hormonal, cellular and mental health as well.”

Dr Krishnarajah shares his top five tips to get your body out of any winter blues.

1. Soak up some sunshine to get your vitamin D hit.

It can be hard to soak up sufficient sunshine during winter leaving many of us deficient in vitamin D. With the weather getting warmer, try to spend more time in the sun (don’t forget to slip, slop, slap). In winter, it is recommended that we get between 10 and 15 minutes of sun exposure a day.

2. Enjoy the great outdoors.

When it’s cold and dark outside, the last thing we want to do is get out for a walk or some exercise. And winter is also a time when people tend to overindulge in rich foods. That all makes it incredibly important to get back into a regular exercise routine when it gets warmer. Health professionals recommended that we do 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity such as walking most days and some sort of strength training twice a week.

3. Improve your mobility.

It’s not uncommon to feel extra aches and pains after winter – the cold and often damp weather can make your bones and joints feel stiff and difficult to move. Cooler weather can also exacerbate existing osteoarthritis conditions and old injuries. You can improve bone health and reduce joint pain with supplements such as boron.

4. Eat more nuts and seeds.

With constant exposure to cold temperatures and winds and heated environments, it’s no wonder that winter can leave most people’s skin dry and worse for wear. To improve skin health, eat a healthy diet rich in nuts and seeds – both of which are great sources of vitamin E.

5. Boost your energy levels.

Many people feel lethargic and drained during winter so it’s important to find ways to boost energy come spring. Cutting down on excessive caffeine and alcohol use can help improve energy levels and so can certain supplements. Often referred to as the ‘molecule of youth’ nicotinamide (NAD+), can help improve energy levels and reduce the feeling of tiredness.

Did you slip into bad habits over winter? Was a lack of sunshine partly to blame?

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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