As soon as the hot weather turns to cold, followed by dark early nights, energy levels begin to dip and so does our mood.
Below are my tips that should help us all function better:
- Avoid coffee, and eating foods that contain refined sugars, including processed foods and instead opt for seasonal greens and rainbow vegetables, which are packed with antioxidants and fibre;
- Keep hydrated by drinking anything between 6-8 glasses (200ml per glass) of water a day. Avoid carbonated drinks and black tea;
- Omega-3 fatty acids are also of benefit in the winter months. They help with optimal levels of Vitamin D and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for cognitive, brain memory, performance and behavioural function. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be obtained from oily fish;
- Winter daylight is importing in boosting our mood and helping us to feel more energetic and positive. Just 20 minutes a day in direct sunlight in the winter, will not only help us absorb Vitamin D, which we lack around this time of year, but will lift our mood and help those who struggle with SAD;
- Although exercise is important as part of a healthy lifestyle, it’s even more important in the winter months. Exercises include brisk walks, yoga and Pilates. Cardio-vascular workouts have also proven to increase vitality and mood, although it’s important to avoid exercising after 6:00pm because exercise may interfere with sleeping patterns;
- Of course, it’s important to keep ourselves moving any time of year, but more so in the winter months, but because of the dark mornings and early evenings, we automatically have less energy. Moving around more will help us stay motivated and more focused;
- Adequate amounts of sleep are equally as important in the winter months. The best sleep time for cell renewal is 8pm to 11pm for stimulation and hydration; 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration and 3am to 5am is time for resting. It’s important electrical equipment including computers and television are switched off at least an hour before sleep;
- We must also consume adequate portions of food containing soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre is important for the large intestine to maintain a healthy bacterial flora and to promote vitamin B; which gives us energy;
- Vitamin C (which is good for immunity) should also be consumed, including green leafy vegetables.
Some of my tips above you may already know about, are aware of, or may be doing. I try to stick to all of them. The more we do of course, the better we will feel.