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Beating the cold-weather blues: How to stay active and happy during the chilly months


Now that the holidays are over, it’s a little too easy to fall into that winter lull. With the low temperatures, the dark sky and frigid wind, we abandon our workouts and take to the couch for a cold winter hibernation. This year, avoid the winter blues and try these 10 ways to keep healthy and balanced during the chilly months:

  1. Start a winter tradition. With all the traditions centered around the holidays, why not keep it going throughout the rest of the season? Start a new winter tradition with family or friends—organize a game night, dinner club or find an activity that is meaningful to those you care about.
  2. Lend a helping hand. Find a cause that gives you a sense of purpose—whether it’s through a school, community or larger organization. By participating in something greater than yourself, you’ll have a sense of purpose and forget about the gloomy weather outside!
  3. Get outside. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors! Go outside for a quick run or a pleasant winter hike. It will boost your endorphins, your mood and your temperature!
  4. Break out the Crock Pot. Why not lean into the winter spirit by preparing some warm, nourishing meals in the slow-cooker? Research some new soup recipes and throw in some nuts and other healthy fats.
  5. Stay moisturized. Is your skin feeling tight and itchy? This may be a sign that you need to switch your moisturizer regime. Some moisturizers have ingredients that actually dry your skin out. Instead try grapeseed, olive or sunflower oil for a natural, healthy skin conditioner.
  6. Get to bed earlier. Follow the sun’s lead and go down earlier—it allows your body more hours to rest and repair, helping it feel happier and healthier in the morning.
  7. Use a humidifier. The air gets drier in the winter months, so use a humidifier to add some much-needed moisture into the air.
  8. Break a sweat indoors. Join a gym, find an indoor pool or walk some laps around the mall. If you don’t want to leave your house, stretching and aerobics can all be practiced via a DVD or online videos – right in the comfort of your living room.
  9. Learn something new. Whether it’s an art class, learning a new language or attending an educational Meetup group, you can always continue to develop your brain. It might just be the healthiest move you make this winter!
  10. Catch up on chores. Instead of wasting hours in front of the TV or on your computer or phone, why not get a jump start on spring cleaning? Clean out your closet and take care of various household chores that you’ve been putting off. As an added bonus, one hour of housework burns about 200 calories.

You can do it! Peel yourself off the couch and take action this winter. It will help encourage a healthier and balanced lifestyle for the rest of the year.