When it’s freezing outside most of us want to stay cozy under a blanket and take a nap. But when that’s not an option, here are 5 tips to stay energized in winter.
If you’ve ever taken a trip somewhere warm and tropical this time of year you know how energizing a little sunshine can be. It’s so much easier to maintain energy and positivity when the sun is out and warm weather keeps you comfortable.
My friend and I were talking about how harsh winter days of rain (or snow!), gray clouds, and shorter days and lack of sunlight zap our energy. Of course this led to a discussion on a few things we both do to stay warm and happy in the winter and they are as follows!
Tips To Stay Energized In Winter
1. Hydrate With Everything But Ice Water
In the summer our bodies crave fluids due to the heat and the need to cool down. During the winter, we may not feel as thirsty, but our bodies need just as much fluid as they do in the summer (sometimes I feel even thirstier in the winter!)
Mild dehydration can lead to impaired brain function, affect mood, and make you feel sluggish. Dehydration can also, oddly, make you feel hungry, and this might be why some of us put on some winter weight. Making sure we are getting enough fluids during the winter will also allow our bodies to properly function and ward off germs during cold and flu season.
Tip: Aside from keeping a water bottle nearby (I like my water room temp in the winter!), remember that coffee and tea are both sources that count towards hydration. Yes, they have a diuretic effect, but the amount of water outweighs the amount expelled.
2. Eat More Oatmeal
(Yes this is one of my tips 😉 ) There is something to be said about a bowl of oatmeal during the winter. It’s a stick-to-your-ribs comfort food that also happens to be good for you.
Oatmeal is also a great source of fiber and is 100% whole grain. Whole grains have a low glycemic index which gives you a slow and steady release of energy throughout the day.
Fiber also helps to control blood sugar level. It slows the absorption of sugar, which maintains your blood sugar levels and keeps them from sky rocketing or dipping below normal which can leave you feeling fatigue.
3. Seek Out Vitamin D
During the winter we may not be stepping outside as much to get the “sunlight hormone” also known as vitamin D. This can lead to the winter blues. Light therapy can help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) along with getting more vitamin D from food or supplements. Increasing intake of vitamin D by eating foods rich in the vitamin can help keep maintain our serotonin levels. Fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks are all notable sources in a healthy diet that contain vitamin D.
Tip: Grab a can of sardines! Sardines are a great source of vitamin D, calcium, and omega 3s.
4. Move For 30 Minutes A Day
We all know that staying active and exercising equates to more energy. This can be challenging during the winter months as leaving the house when the temperatures dip below 30 is the last thing that anyone wants to do.
I have found that if I bundle up in a down coat with gloves and a scarf and my new boots (!!) I’m rarely cold once I get moving. Get outside if the weather permits for a walk or run. The brisk air, natural light, and movement all promote circulation, increase serotonin levels, and boost energy.
Tip: If you can’t make it outdoors or simply going to the gym sounds excruciating, try one of the home workouts from Aaptiv or Popsugar on YouTube. Even a 10 minute indoor walk on my treadmill or peloton spin warms my whole core up!
5. Boost Your Immune System
Our gut is home to a diverse group of bacteria, which plays a significant role in supporting our immune and digestive systems. An unhappy gut can directly affect the brain, leading to fatigue and stress, which negatively impacts energy levels.
Probiotics, the good bacteria, promote a friendly environment in our digestive tracts. Probiotics help to increase other forms of good bacteria, they decrease inflammation, and they keep other harmful organisms from reaching the gut, like all those kindergarten germs.
Tip: Getting all of your probiotics from kombucha, yogurt, kefir, and etc. is ideal, but the thought of eating these every day may not be the most appealing or cost effective. Try using a probiotic supplement as a simple way to keep your gut health happy. I take a grown-up one, and the boys loves their gummies.
And when all else fails, remember: spring is just around the corner!