Cold winter months and the stressors of holidays and family can be a trigger for seasonal depression. Exercise has been gaining popularity for being used to treat seasonal depression and is a great way to get in shape and stay up beat!
With fewer hours of sunlight and a chill to the air, individuals get less hours of natural sunlight and often reduce or limit their time outdoors. Being stuck indoors can cause cabin fever while waiting for those warmer months to cycle back. Scheduling some much needed outdoor time with friends can help alleviate cabin fever and those friends can also be your accountability partner to make sure you get your workout in. With proper winter layers, winter months can be a fitness winter wonderland! Continuing to work out in the outdoors during winter keeps you in shape, battles seasonal depression, and gives the opportunity to try a new sport – like snow shoeing and skiing.
Individuals who suffer from seasonal depression often have lower levels of vitamin D. This is another reason to try to complete your workouts outside if possible. The natural sunlight helps give you a natural boost of vitamin D. There are other methods available to supplement vitamin D, but getting some quality time outside is the ideal.
If you live in a climate that makes outdoor winter work out sessions unsafe or not doable, head over to your local health club to get a work out in that way. Exercise does boost endorphins for that feel-good feeling. If your sport has an off-season, you can use this time in your health club to cross train and get stronger for the upcoming training season. If your sport is year round, you can use the indoor work out sessions to have specific goal orientated moves to maximize your strength and endurance for your sport.
Seasonal depression is a condition that many individuals suffer from in the colder winter months. Using exercise to help battle depression is a natural solution that works for many people. Grab your winter gear and your friends and try a new sport outside and soak up the sun, or grab your work out partners for a sweat session at a local health club. Whichever way you choose to work out, you can battle the effects of seasonal depression naturally with exercise.