For those of you who know me, you will know that I hate the cold and that I definitely don't look forward to these chilly Melbourne days that are upon us now.
It is well known that for many people they feel grumpy and down when the weather is cold and the days are dreary. Okay we could all pack up and head north to the sunshine but this isn't always possible, so we need to find ways to stay happy and healthy during the cold weather.
Here is what I find works best to keep me happy and healthy during Autumn and Winter.
Firstly build a healthy immunity
Already so many people have coughs and colds. If we are feeling achy and unwell then of course we are not going to feel happy so we need to make sure that we build a healthy immunity so we don't catch every bug that is around.
Make sure that you eat well. A strong immunity is built from a diet rich in antioxidants, so include a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Aim for 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day. Zinc is also really important when it comes to building a strong immunity. Foods rich in zinc include lean red meats, poultry, fish and shellfish. I always try and cook a new recipe each week so that my family and I can enjoy tasting new dishes. It is also a great way to include a variety of foods into our diet. Soups, stir fries and curries are all fantastic dishes that can be tasty and warming. Plus they are a great way to get lots of vegetables and different types of meats or seafood into your diet.
Also really important is to keep hydrated. If you find drinking water hard when it's cold, try herbal tea or place chopped up fruit, vegetables or even herbs in your water to make it special. Clear soups are also a great way to hydrate but just be careful of packaged products as they can be very high in sodium.
There is nothing like a workout to get us warm and feeling happy and on top of the world. Many people find exercising hard when it is cold as you just want to stay inside in the warm.
So the key here is to change it around. If you normally exercise outside and just hate the thought of being out in the cold why not try an indoor group fitness class. There are so many options these days. Just think there's boxing, general fitness classes, cardio and core, pilates or yoga to name just some of what's out there. Group fitness classes are heaps of fun and allow you to workout with friends. It is also a great way to meet new people. Our group classes always see new friendships forming. The other bonus with a group program is that it also keeps you accountable to others and therefore you are far more likely to turn up as you don't want to let others down. Plus of course you don't want to miss out on all the fun.
During the colder months our Group fitness classes come inside when it is icy cold and wet so you can workout and stay warm and dry. These sessions are just the perfect way to stay on track when it's cold. For those who still like to be outside, then layering your workout clothes helps you from feeling the cold. I have a beanie, gloves and jacket that I use for running and that way as I warm up I can shed a layer or two as I progress through my workout.
Set a goal to keep you motivated
I always set myself goals to help me keep motivated during the colder weather. Each year I enter a few Fun Runs to keep me on track with my running. For those of you who do not like running, why not set yourself up a different sort of fitness goal. For instance it could be being able to do 10 push ups on your toes or hold a plank for 1 minute. Remember it needs to be something that you can and want to achieve.
Another goal you could set is trying a new healthy recipe or new food each week or set yourself a goal to fit into an article of clothing that is a little tight at the minute.
Remember setting goals is a unique thing, it has to be something that you want to achieve and also be something that is attainable and relevant to you. If you are not sure of what you can achieve we can sit down with you and help you work out a purposeful goal. We want you to set yourself up for success and so are always happy to help you set a realistic goal.
Importantly look after your emotional needs
I find the key to staying happy this time of the year is to do things that you enjoy. It's okay on a cold dreary day to take time out and curl up on the sofa with a warm drink, blanket and a good book.
Another thing most of us enjoy is catching up with friends, so catch up with friends and spend time with people that lift your spirits and make you laugh. There is nothing better than having a laugh with a good friend to lift your mood.
Treat yourself to a pamper session. A facial is a perfect way to pamper yourself and is also very important as our skin becomes dry from being in heated environments plus the cold wind also causes our skin to become dry and sensitive.
I am a big one for keeping a journal of my goals and aspiration. Ask yourself what is it that you really want to achieve? Use pictures and positive affirmations to keep you focused on what you are working towards. In your journal record how you feel and brainstorm ways to achieve your goals. If you find that negative thoughts are filling your mind focus on turning these thoughts around into positive ones.
I also write down 5 things that I am grateful for each day as well as this helps me keep everything in perspective.
Okay it might be cold but life doesn't have to be dreary like the weather. I hope that these little tips help you stay happy and healthy during the cold weather. Then before you know it, Spring will be here.