The clocks went back at the weekend and we may have had an extra hour in bed but it doesn’t mean that we should let our energy levels drop and sink into a low mood. I know a lot of people suffer from SAD – seasonal Affective Order – but there are healthy ways in which we can lift our mood from the moment we wake up rather than make a beeline for stodgy winter food. In fact the move from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time is credited with reducing road deaths and seasonal depression. Here’s some tips on keeping us healthy throughout those dreaded winter months.
Look to the Light
Exposing yourself to two minutes of bright light as soon as you wake up signals the body to shut down its production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that can cause you to feel draggy. This hormone is produced at night to keep you sleepy but a morning blast of light tells your brain to quit making melatonin so energy levels can effectively soar.
Polish off a banana at breakfast and according to boffins you’ll increase your energy 20 per cent for two hours straight. It’s the hefty amount of potassium – a mineral that stimulates muscles – that credits this fruit. Try adding some chopped up banana in your cereal.
Hunger proof nuts
Come mid morning, a handful of nuts can help wake up the part of the brain (the cortex) that helps you think clearly and multi-task with ease. Noshing on a handful of these unsalted nuts will also help ward off pre-lunch hunger pangs to prevent overeating later on.
Stretch it out
A good old stretch after a long desk bound morning will do you wonders. Fortunately a 30 second stretch can boost energy and concentration for one hour. To get even more alertness, try a few head rolls and shoulder blade squeezes before stretching your arms and legs in front of you.
Pacing back and forth a few times while you’re on the phone can apparently cut fatigue in half. Multi-tasking by combining easy activity actually energises the entire nervous system to give you an energy charge.
Become a domestic God/Goddess
Ok not everyone likes going to the gym but there are ways of keeping energised without setting a foot in one and still keeping relatively fit. Researchers say that while one massive workout will energise you for several hours, smaller bursts if activity will give you steadier , more long-lasting energy boost. So don’t be shy and pick up that duster and get rid of those cobwebs!
So don’t make up an excuse to hibernate in the winter because its dark out there. Focus on those Christmas parties you need to look good at and keep the winter blues at bay!