Melissa Miragaia from Noosa Studio shares how to stay healthy, happy and motivated in the cooler months. 

Have you ever noticed when the sun comes out your mood is elevated and you are full of energy? Then when the rain and cooler months hit you become a bit sad or more specifically, S.A.D (Seasonal affective disorder).

Yes, this is a thing all around the world and yes there is a regime to avoid the unmotivated S.A.D. from creeping in. 

As an Ayurveda specialist, I understand the effects of seasonal changes and how this affects everyone individually. I am talking about moods, digestion, energy, and motivation. 

Depending on your body type (dosha) negative effects can start to represent in various ways including depression, addiction/destructive behavior, anxiety, and isolation.

That’s not to say that nobody loves winter, there are plenty of people who do. However, if you are not in a good routine and listening to what your mind/body needs then your body type (dosha) will become unbalanced and the negative signs will begin to present.

As we come into the cooler winter months it is my goal to help people to stay on track by understanding how the seasons affect everything within our body and mind and how we can all avoid these negative impacts.

So how do we stay healthy, happy, and motivated in the cooler months?

It is important to understand that prevention is better than cure. So, once you understand the effects of seasonal changes you can introduce these steps to avoid the negative effects before the colder months hit.

1. Nourish your system from the moment you wake up:

  • Have a large glass of room-temperature water with lemon upon waking.
  • Go for a fast-paced walk, run, cycle, or even an outdoor body weight or outdoor gym session first thing.
  • If you don’t have much time, try a 10-15 min fast-paced walk or bodyweight routine in your backyard.
  • If you’re a lover of the gym, try to perform an exercise for at least 15 mins outside once a day, this could be as basic as a short walk at lunchtime.

2. Boost your intake of the right things:

  • Take vitamin D supplements. I prefer to get the digestion working with the proper diet and lifestyle and to focus on absorption levels over taking supplements. However, in today’s world, many of us work indoors and lack proper vitamin D intake, so I usually recommend these for more than half of the year.
  • If you are not following a set routine it can be extremely easy to fall into unhealthy habits and poor eating choices. Knowing that you are in good physical shape and your digestion and body are working optimally will enable you to not only look better but feel better. This will help you get through these cooler months ready for summer.
  • Consuming organic fresh seasonal vegetables from your local farmer’s markets, balanced with plenty of nourishing grains, organic and fresh meats, lots of filtered room temperature water, fresh eggs, cooking with ghee and herbs and spices for digestion and variety. Following these food qualities will keep your digestion running how it should, resulting in a better mood, better energy, better mind/body connection, and motivation!

3. Get moving:

Now before you start to think that a few more Z’s in your warm bed is better than getting up and exercising, allow me to recap and explain further to you the benefits of exercising in the winter:

  • You burn extra calories. This occurs as your body needs to work harder to perform in chilly climates. This causes your muscles to break down glycogen faster to fuel themselves.
  • Fights depression and S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder).
  • Can help you sleep better. The combination of sunlight exposure fresh air, and physical activity from exercise, will help you sleep more deeply.
  • Fights and prevents stress, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety.
  • Keeps your immune system in check to fight winter flu.
  • Improves confidence.
  • Maintains a healthy lifestyle, saying goodbye to quick fix crash fast diets/workout plans.

So, if you’re sick of getting to summer every year and going on crash diets and crazy restrictive workout/eating plans, it is time to change your winter routine and understand that our bodies need us more than ever in these cooler months.

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