Beating the Mid-Winter Exercise Blues

Man exercising in winter on gravel track | Featured image for What Made You Proud in 2020? blog for Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy.

Beating the Mid-Winter Exercise Blues

Bang smack in the middle of winter, July often brings about the common mid-winter blues. We start off so motivated with exercising at the beginning of the year but find ourselves lacking energy when the temperature drops, and we see less of the sun. Part of experiencing the mid-winter blues not only means less time spent exercising but even when you are exercising, the exercises can feel mundane, boring and same old!

This month is all about tips on how to beat the mid-winter blues so that you can remain focused and moving. That way, injury is avoided.

Here are 5 easy Pivotal Motion tips to beating the mid-winter blues:

1. Go for a morning walk when the sun is out

Sunlight and warmth are excellent ways to improve low moods. Therefore, aiming to walk for 30 minutes daily out in the sun can be a great way of beating the mid-winter blues.

2. Spice up your exercise program

Changing your exercise program is a good way of introducing challenges into exercising making it more exciting and less mundane. It is also a way to improve strength and conditioning.

A couple of excellent ways to change up an exercise programme are the following:

Changing the lever length – a longer lever can increase difficulty in an exercise. A perfect example of this is the clam shell exercise. If they knee is bent, the targeted muscle (gluteus medius) works less compared to the knee in a straightened position.

Incorporating balance – For any exercise, introducing balance components increases the challenge of performing the exercise.

Manipulating repetitions – Increasing the number of repetitions ensures the targeted muscle works harder.

Changing time under tension – The increased time a muscle is under contraction correlates to an increased workload performed by the muscle and therefore, stimulates muscle growth.

Weight – this is an obvious progression. If you lift heavier weights, you stimulate the growth of more muscle.

Stance – changing the stance during a standing exercise can alter which muscle is put under increased tension.

Rest time – ensuring that you have adequate rest time both between exercises and between sessions is essential to avoiding burn out!

3. Nutritious Diet

Making sure that the diet is up to scratch by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables means that the required vitamins and nutrients are obtained. Ensuring your macronutrient requirements of protein, carbohydrates and fats are all satisfied keeps the body and all its systems and processes functioning well.

4. Social Activities

As human beings, it is a necessity to have human contact. Not only has it been shown to improve low mood states, it is the perfect way to combat the mid-winter blues. Exercising with friends is a fantastic way of incorporating both social contact and physical activity, killing two birds with one stone. Great examples of this include going on a hike, bike ride or a walk around the neighbourhood.

5. Getting plenty of sleep

This is no brainer. If you get plenty of sleep, your mental, physical and emotional health improve, and you prevent the chance of burnout and fatigue! If you have any questions or queries regarding mid-winter blues, book in online to see one of our physiotherapists today!

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