Prevent The Winter Blues With These Easy Tips

You may be surprised to hear it, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a real condition and it’s not uncommon for people to get the blues during the winter months.  If you feel that happening to you, here are a few simple things you can do to keep your spirits up.

  • Move! – When the temperature outside plummets, it can be all too tempting to just stay under the warm covers, but making yourself get up and move around is key to preventing depression from setting in. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get up and start moving!
  • Pleasant distractions – When you feel the wintertime blues creeping up on you, one great way to keep them at bay is to consciously plan some fun activity to treat yourself with. It could be anything from reconnecting with a friend you haven’t seen in far too long, to a cup of hot chocolate from your favorite coffee shop, or anything else that will bring a smile to your face.  Just give yourself a little treat as a distraction.
  • Talk it out – A good conversation might not be able to fix all the world’s problems, but sometimes, just the simple act of sitting down and having a great conversation can chase the blues away.
  • It’s a matter of perspective – When the wintertime blues start encroaching, it’s all too easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life. When you feel negativity beginning to take root, press pause, take a deep breath and flip the script.  Focus on, and take stock of the good things in your life.  It’s amazing what even just a little positive thinking can do!
  • Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D! When the sun goes away for the winter, the body misses out on this important vitamin that the sun provides. This not only causes depression in some people, but it decreases the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and infections. There are multiple ways you can get Vitamin D, including vitamins, drinking milk, or eating certain vegetables!

The bottom line is, you don’t have to let the winter weather get you down.  There are things you can do to improve your outlook, disposition, and mood!

Avoiding Injuries When Starting Your New Year’s Resolutions

The start of a new year means, among other things, New Year’s Resolutions. One of the most common resolutions people make is to get in better physical condition in the year ahead.

It’s a great goal, but unfortunately, the burst of enthusiasm can often lead to injury. The most common types of injuries are those born of repetitive use or strain and it’s not uncommon for doctor’s offices and chiropractors to see a sudden influx of patients suffering from bursitis, shin splints, stress fractures and the like. Here are some quick tips to help you minimize your risk of injury as you begin your journey toward better health:

Technique Matters

Sometimes, people get so caught up in the excitement of getting fit that they don’t pay sufficient attention to technique. Proper technique is essential, and can go a long way toward minimizing pain and injury when exercising.

Be mindful of your posture. If you’re using some type of equipment during your exercise routine, be sure you’re using it correctly!

Don’t Overdo It

If you’re new to exercising, then your strength, endurance, and flexibility aren’t what they could be.  It’s important to be mindful of your limitations as you start to exercise, so you don’t overexert yourself. Over-exertion can lead to pulled or strained muscles, or painful sprains.

Also in this category, it’s important that when you expand or increase your workout from one week to the next, you don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Don’t increase your exercise by more than 10% (distance, weight, or time) from one week to the next.

Warm Up and Cool Down

This is something that a lot of people overlook, but both are important!  Before you begin exercising in earnest, be sure to perform a short stretching routine to limber your body up for the exercises ahead.

In a similar vein, once you’ve completed your exercise routine for the day, another short round of stretches before you stop will help minimize your post exercise discomfort.

While following this simple advice won’t allow you to magically avoid exercise-related injuries, it will greatly reduce your risks. In turn, you will increase the chances that you’ll stick with your New Year’s Resolution and start seeing a healthier you!