It is December. Now depending on where you live, it is most likely cold, or at least colder than normal. The winter can be an amazing time, snow ball fights, making snow angels, and celebrating the holidays with family. But if you aren’t a fan of the cold it could feel like Narnia, and the White Witch is very cruel!
A lot of people begin to feel a bit, well, claustrophobic during these cold months. I admit, I struggle walking out the front door when its freezing out. It can start to affect your mood too. Seasonal affective disorder is a real thing. It’s dark and cold and that can have significant changes to our moods. The good news is, there is exercise and if you get those winter blues, it can really help!
According to a study completed at Duke University, exercise is just as effective on depression as anti-depression medications.”Duke researchers reported on their study of 156 older patients diagnosed with major depression which, to their surprise, found that after 16 weeks, patients who exercised showed statistically significant and comparable improvement relative to those who took anti-depression medication, or those who took the medication and exercised”. That is so important to remember during these days of winter. Just 15 minutes of working out can change your whole attitude.
The study also showed that persistence pays off. The patients in this study who continued to exercise found even more benefits. They felt more accomplished, and more in control. Which just perpetuated the “good feeling” loop. They wanted more, so they did more.
So if you are feeling a bit down this winter, get a workout in! I’ve literally never heard any one say that a good workout has put them in a bad mood!