We all reach that point in the long, dark season when it feels like spring may never come. The colder, shorter days make it hard to get motivated, and all you want to do is curl up under a blanket and eat comfort food instead of going for that morning run or making it to your afternoon yoga class.
But guess what? Your good health can’t afford to hibernate.
The best way to beat the winter blues and get energized is by taking small but important steps throughout the season that benefit your body and remind you why your health is so important. And chances are, once you start taking those steps, they’ll become a part of your daily routine, and soon you’ll be well on your way to wellness.
Give it a try and start with these 5 simple tips!
- Spend as much time outdoors as you can. Being in nature has some pretty remarkable benefits for both physical and mental health. As hard as it may be to imagine layering up and heading outdoors when the weather outside is frightful, do your best to get outside as much as possible.For starters, your body needs sunlight. Sunlight is our primary source of vitamin D, which has been shown to help ease depressive symptoms and promote a positive mood, so get your fill of vitamin D by walking the dog, doing your daily workout at the park, building a snowman with the kids, or preparing your garden for the spring season (we promise it will come). Even just 10 or 15 minutes of sun exposure can make a big difference.Second, spending time in the woods, at the park, walking on the beach, or anywhere we can immerse ourselves in the natural world has been shown to enhance our brain function. Being in nature gives the brain a chance to relax and de-stress, which ultimately enhances our focus, improves our ability to process the day’s events, and even helps us learn new tasks later on.
- Enjoy seasonal fruit and vegetables. We see you there in your flannel jammies, contemplating a bowl of canned soup for dinner while pining away for your favorite spring and summer produce. Put down the can opener and head to your local market! It may be hard to believe, but there are plenty of cold-weather fruits and veggies that are chock full of nutrients and flavor.Some great examples are winter squash, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, onions, pears, kale and collard greens, kiwis, persimmons, and don’t forget root veggies galore! Our favorites include carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes, which make for a delicious and vitamin-rich winter stew.
- Sit less. It can be really tempting during those long winter months to spend a lot of time on your… uh… backside. Unfortunately, all that sitting can have a negative impact on your health. Studies show too much time spent in a sitting position can affect your heart, your waistline, your brain, and even your mood. Do yourself a favor and follow these simple tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
- If you work at a desk, try a standing desk—or improvise with a high table or counter.
- Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
- Position your work surface above a treadmill—with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk—so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
- Find a wellness buddy. Having a good support system is one of the simplest and best ways to stay healthy and active throughout the season. Whether it’s a friend, a co-worker, a sister, or even your kids, find someone who’s got your back and put together a simple plan to keep each other healthy.On the days when you don’t feel like exercising, knowing someone is counting on you to help them get moving is often just the motivation you need to get up and out the door.Likewise, on those nights when you’re considering ordering takeout instead of making a healthy dinner, get the kids involved with meal prep and cooking to make the experience more enjoyable. (This is also a great time to talk to your children about nutrition and encourage healthy habits.)
- Power up your morning smoothie with probiotics and prebiotics. Did you know at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut? No wonder experts keep telling us that a balanced gut is the key to optimal wellness. And guess what? One of the best ways to support a healthy internal balance is by adding more probiotics and prebiotics to our daily diet.*Renew Life Organic Daily Probiotic + Prebiotic Powder is a simple way to support a healthy gut microbiome even when you’re on the go.* The easy-to-mix powder is perfect for blending with your morning smoothie so you can take it to work, to the gym, to the mall—wherever the day takes you!It’s made with multiple clinically studied strains to help reflect the natural diversity in the human gut and contains certified organic XOS prebiotics to help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.*
You’ve got this! Spring is just around the corner!
With a little inspiration (and motivation), we can all make it through the colder months and into the rejuvenating days of spring. Just remember these simple tips and do your best to make healthier choices for your body, your mind, and your mood—and before you know it, the days will get longer and the flowers will start blooming.