No matter how fit and healthy you are, the winter months can take a toll. Motivation lags, cravings shift and the social calendar tends to thin out. And once you give in to the hibernation mindset, the entire winter can quickly spiral into a demoralizing season.
To help you avoid that, we’ve put together a simple guide to winter hibernation focusing on three main areas of health. We hope it’ll give you some clarity about when to give into the season and when to fight back.
Many people experience a shift in their body’s dietary demands in the colder months. Modern and ancient medicine back up the idea that certain foods are more beneficial for your body depending on the season. Researchers at the University of Georgia, for example, found that from early fall through the winter, their study subjects consumed about 200 calories more per day and that their subjects preferred “heavier” foods (higher in carbohydrates).
Another interesting approach comes from theories of Chinese medicine. According to Chinese Medicine Living, “Winter represents the most Yin aspect in Chinese medicine. Yin is the dark, cold, slow, inward energy.” Chinese medicine experts advise that in winter, it’s best to eat hearty soups, rich stocks made with animal bones and other dishes that cook slowly on low heat. The idea also emphasizes sticking to produce that is grown in that season in your part of the world.
People tend to associate relaxing getaways and lazy afternoons with the warmer seasons. But there’s no reason why you can’t keep your winter calendar brimming with things to look forward to. The settings might change (eg. cosy cottage instead of breezy beach house) but you need to keep doing the things that make you feel fulfilled. Humans are social creatures, so don’t cut yourself off from the world just because it’s cold outside!
There’s a huge amount of scientific evidence suggesting that regular exercise actually increases energy levels. It can be hard to maintain motivation throughout winter, but dropping your exercise routine altogether will likely leave you low on energy or even lethargic.
One study from the University of Georgia looked at this idea and results showed that study participants that were put on a regular exercise program reported improved energy levels while the participants that remained sedentary did not. Study head Patrick O’Connor said, “A lot of times when people are fatigued the last thing they want to do is exercise. But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.”
Plus, as a bonus incentive to stay active, research shows that people who are physically fit have fewer and milder colds!
Support your winter diet with our plant-based, doctor-formulated Daily Superfood powder. It’s packed with important micronutrients from over 50 wholefoods to help you feel your best every day!