08 Nov Will you struggle to keep you mood up during the grey winter months?
The grey winter days can seem endless. Day after day we feel down in the dumps or have the blues. It’s a feeling familiar to so many of us.
Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) was traditionally known to affect the Scandinavians. However, it is now known that about 3% of the UK population show severe symptoms impacting their ability to function, with 20% show mildly debilitating symptoms, potentially impacting their work and relationships.
SAD is a type of mood disorder, generally occurring temporarily during the winter months and fully disappearing at other times of the year.
Symptoms of SAD vary in severity but may include:
- a persistent low mood and lack of energy
- irritability and loss of interest of normal everyday activity
- low self-confidence with feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- feeling sleepy during the day and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
Although the exact cause of SAD isn’t fully understood, it is often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight especially as the days shorten and night draws in.
The lack of sunlight may be affecting the hypothalamus, a small but important part of our brain. People with symptoms often have higher levels of serotonin, a hormone often associated with sleep, leading to tiredness, fatigue and increased appetite with cravings for carbohydrates.
Levels of serotonin, commonly known as the happy hormone have also been seen to drop in some people, resulting in feelings of depression. The circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock is also regulated by sunlight, so lower exposure can also bring on seasonal symptoms.
You can raise your mood through exercise
Fortunately, there is an easy way to overcome these feelings. The Scandinavians, for instance, have traditionally raised their spirits by engaging in outdoor activities and keeping healthy.
Exercise counterbalances the reduced production of the brain’s happy hormones. While less sun exposure causes a decrease in serotonin levels, exercise increases the production of endorphins and serotonin which improves your mood and makes you feel better. Vitally, during the winter months, exercise also promotes the production of white blood cells, boosting the immune system. Working out helps your brain release chemicals that leave you feeling alert, energized, focused and productive.
A regular, active lifestyle is, of course, critical to good health all year round. Exercising during the cold grey winter days has the extra benefit of being particularly suited to elevating mood levels. It also allows you to work off the extra calories associated with holiday eating and reduce stress levels.
Keep Fit Boot Camp – the ideal winter ‘pick-me-up’
Keep Fit Boot Camp is the perfect remedy for the winter blues. It’s more powerful than any pill that your doctor could give you. Our outdoor group fitness exercise sessions are the ideal winter remedy. What’s more, we love running them in the winter months!
On cold, dark days, it’s tempting to stay inside and hide under a blanket or leave work and head home to indulge in comfort food and watch TV or Netflix. Whilst a little bit hiding away can sometimes beneficial, too much isolation and a lack of exercise can take a toll on your emotional well-being. By attending outdoor group fitness sessions, you get to be around other people or colleagues often working as a team and if you are lucky you might actually get to see some daylight and get a dose of vitamin D from the sun.
When it’s freezing outside nothing warms you up faster than working out. Your muscles produce heat which doesn’t just make you feel warm but it can also help prevent muscle stiffness in the cold weather.
So let’s fight the winter blues by maintaining a regular workout schedule that makes you feel happier and less stressed until spring.
At Keepfit Bootcamp we offer you and your team the opportunity to keep healthy and productive even during the gloomy cold days. Our bespoke fun fitness group sessions for individuals or for employee wellness are bound to keep you smiling throughout the cold winter days.
Get started – Book a session today
Contact Keepfit Bootcamp today to discuss how we can help you or your team through the winter.
Call: 020 8213 5812