1. Get your heart rate up
Research has proven that regular aerobic exercise performed several times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes a session has been linked to reducing sick days by 40%.
Aerobic exercise includes any type of fitness which brings you to a level that if you are talking, there is a bit of puffing! This may include brisk walking or jogging, bushwalking or cycling. For those of you who don’t mind getting wet, go to your local indoor swimming pool and do some laps – the hot shower afterwards will feel invigorating! If you would prefer to be indoors, aerobics classes, dancing and exercise bike riding might keep you more compliant with your fitness goals.
2. Prioritise the Zzzzzz’s
Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep have decreased immunity and are more vulnerable to catching colds. It is recommended that adults get an average of 7-9 hours’ sleep per night and that we should go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of it being a weekend. That might sound tough but by regulating our sleep patterns and prioritising this time to restore our bodies, our mental health also benefits. We all know how bleak a day can feel when we haven’t had enough sleep the night before!
Try to create a bed-time routine- we are always told this is what children and babies need to ensure a night of deep sleep. It is no different for adults. Play some soft music leading up to bed-time and perhaps have a warm bath. And most importantly, avoid any screen time at least one hour before you retire. It is now widely researched that the blue light from screens can disrupt your circadian rhythms and sleep cycle – the problem is that blue light tells your brain that the sun has risen. And the smaller the screen the more blue light – so keep those phones out of the bedroom.
3. Keep your social life afloat
It can be very easy to allow yourself to slip into hibernation mode when the rain and wind are howling at your door, but keeping in touch with your friends and loved ones keeps you connected and everyone feels better after a good chat or laugh.
If you can’t face leaving the house, have people over for dinner. Choose indoor activities such as visiting the art gallery or see a movie. Best yet, rug up and go for a walk around the park or even a hike along a walking trail. The fresh air will do you the world of good, endorphins will be produced and the extra blood pumping around your body will improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Try and plan some little weekends or even a night away somewhere different – even if you can’t escape the cold weather it’s amazing what a change of scenery will do for morale and energy levels.