Don’t let your wellness habits change with the season

The gentle and warming change from winter to spring is a favourite time of year for many. But, as we roll into the colder seasons, why does the change always come as a shock? One minute there’s the smell of BBQs in the air and the Pimms is flowing, and the next minute, day-light feels like a myth and a roll neck is your new best buddy. Despite the same thing happening every year, ‘‘I can’t believe how dark it is already” always becomes a small talk staple. 

However, the weather changes can affect more than just your wardrobe and office chit chat. Winter often makes a healthy and active routine 10x harder to maintain. Make this year’s transition more of a plain sailing situation by adjusting your health and wellness habits accordingly. Try these tips and stay fighting fit throughout the winter months…

1. Get spicy

Herbs and spices are a great natural way to boost your energy levels, strengthen the immune system, and reduce inflammation. Make ginger, lemon, turmeric, and cinnamon a regular occurrence in your diet. Add them to smoothies or dishes, spice your coffee with cinnamon, make a ginger extract and add to tea, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Whenever you can, go for fresh and raw, not the powdered versions.

2. Don’t neglect the outdoors

Getting some fresh air and sunshine is essential. Have you ever experienced increased fatigue and sleepiness if you’re in a closed place for a long time? Poor ventilation, lack of fresh air, and lack of sunshine will zap your energy, making a gym session even less likely. Schedule some weekend power walks to fight off winter fatigue. You’ll be shocked at how energised it can make you feel, setting you up for the new week, ready to take on more intense sessions in the gym. 

3. Winter-proof your workout clothes

To make sure you don’t skip a chilly workout session, even in the deep, dark depths of winter, prep your wardrobe ready for all conditions. Think brightly coloured fleece jackets and reflective items for the dark hours and activewear pieces with extra coverage, light layers, and cosy jumpers for when it gets icy.

4. Supplement with the sunshine vitamin

Sunshine (our greatest source of vitamin D) is obviously hard to come by in UK winters. Not only is this all-important vitamin essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body (hi, healthy bones and teeth), it’s also crucial for a strong immune system, which you’ll need to prevent a cold wiping out a week of gym time! 

The NHS advice is to supplement 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter, and all year round if you are from an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background. You could also up your vitamin D game with foods like herrings, sardines and trout.

5. Exercise in the morning: 

In the months it’s pitch-black by the time you finish work, the pull of getting cosy on the sofa with a hot chocolate can be far too hard to resist. If you find it easier to motivate yourself to train in daylight, you’re going to have to prioritise getting enough sleep so you can get up in time for a training session pre-work. Don’t worry if you’re not a morning person either, give yourself an incentive to get up by booking weekly morning sessions with a PT. The more you do it, the easier it will get as your body clock adjusts. To find a local PT to help, use the Go:Do app, download here.