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FITNESS AND NUTRITION : BEATING WINTER BLUES 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

Motivating ourselves to commit to fitness regiments during winter months can be a tough challenge. The days are short, there’s a lack of general sunlight and it’s cold — really cold. Especially here in Belgium, where it decided to start snowing again. Thanks Punxsutawney Phil for the additional six weeks of winter. 👍 You. Are. Awesome.
If you live in a snow city like I do, you know how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to go outdoors but I’m here to use today’s blog post as a reminder to myself (and my readers) that A. fitness is essentially to overall health and B. fitness can help us beat these funky winter blues we’ve all been feeling. Research shows that exercise and a regular fitness regiment can significantly improve our mood and reduce feelings of anxiety, sadness or depression so what are we waiting for!

Mother Nature is looking out for us.
Eco-psychologists believe that there is a direct link between the natural world and our mood states. Those who live in greener spaces, or have a view of trees or a natural landscape experience positive mood states that help balance and heal the body faster than those who live in walled or bricked spaces.
If you live in a space with a view, consider stretching or practicing yoga a few times a week outdoors or near a window where you can actively meditate by focusing your energy on your breathing and the natural beauty around you.

If you do not live in a green space, it’s time to go plant shopping. In Belgium (and most of Europe), the #plantsmakepeoplehappy lifestyle trend is growing quickly and more and more I see gorgeous beautiful tropical plants being housed in small loft apartments. A large majority of these plants serve to revitalize the air in small spaces and provide the much needed connection with nature during these long winter months but the same goes for you — roll out your mat and enjoy a yoga session amidst your indoor jungle.


Make some playlists
Music is a well known motivator for all sorts of occasions. I have playlists for my runs. I have playlists for my meal prep days. Playlists for days I’m shooting with Bastiaan (my photographer) for my youtube channel — playlists are great! If you need a little help creating a playlist — use mine for inspiration.

Embrace the outdoors
Now that you have your playlists ready — it’s time to hit the pavement. I know it’s cold but we all know once we start running we will feel instantly better and our bodies will warm up. We’ll wonder “why haven’t I been doing this all winter” as we breathe in the fresh air.

TIP #1. Exercise warms the body quickly and enough to make you feel like it’s 30 degrees warmer. Be sure to dress in layers yet warm enough for the cool down because once the sweat dries you’ll feel colder.

TIP #2. Check your weather app to plan your runs or fitness goals for the week. If you know the weather is going to be nice towards the end of the week be sure to take advantage of the good weather and plan accordingly. Fitness during winter months will do more for your mental and emotional health than we give it credit for.


Try out something new
If embracing the outdoors is simply out of the question (I don’t blame you) — try out something new. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but put on the back burner? Well… now is the time sign up for that indoor basketball league, join a yoga studio, try barre, or take dance lessons. The options are many — simple get online and research what works for you, your schedule and your budget.

Eat mood boosting foods
This is good news! There are a ton of scientific studies that indicate that chocolate makes us happy. The Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland found that eating dark chocolate (70% and more) every day for more than two weeks reduces stress hormones. Dark chocolate also helps to release serotonin, the feel good and happy hormone, and relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system.

Try my Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Cashew Chocolate Fudge for a mood boost.

Whatever fitness regiment you decide you want to follow, just be sure to stick with it! Regular exercise during winter months can combat those winter blues and keep you feeling energized until Spring.


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