Monday, February 24, 2020
Health and Fitness

Beat the Cold with Fitness

By Nick Hilden, 26 Nov, 2018
  • Beat the Cold with Fitness


Research has firmly established that exercise can be a powerful tool when it comes to combatting issues like depression, anxiety and stress. 

If you’re like many people, the first few weeks of winter bring a welcome seasonal change. But as the cold, rain, and dark set in, so can a case of the winter blues. As you might have heard, research has firmly established that exercise can be a powerful tool when it comes to combatting issues like depression, anxiety and stress. So how can you use fitness to make your winter brighter? Here are a few suggestions.
Find your space
When the weather is nice, it’s easy to head outside and get in some physical activity. Once winter arrives, however, you need to find a way to bring your workout indoors. Find your indoor workout space. That might mean joining a gym, or it might mean clearing out some room in your home. Whatever the case, find a place where you have the room and tools necessary for a good workout.
Build consistency 
Don’t wait until the winter blues creep in to start working out. Establish a consistent workout routine ahead of time to help stave off depression before it starts. Choose days and times for your workout, and stick to your schedule. If you find that you have trouble keeping on track, consider enlisting a workout partner to help with motivation.
Get your cardio 
While resistance training has been shown to combat depression, most studies assert that cardio is the surest form of exercise to stave off the blues. This is because it releases a range of feel-good endorphins and other brain chemicals. To get the most out of your cardio routine, be sure to get at least 30-45 minutes of heart-raising exercise three to five times a week.
Think high-intensity
Research has shown that the more you get your heart rate up, the stronger the anti-depressant effects will be. That means increasing the intensity of your exercise.This can be accomplished in a number of ways – by moving faster, increasing the difficulty with elevation or weights, or by using a HIIT routine. But if increasing the intensity of your workout isn’t an option, don’t let it dissuade you. Low-intensity exercise is still better than none at all. 
Some is better than none 
To get the maximum effect out of your routine, you’ll ideally work out consistently, meaning three to five times a week. But studies have shown that even inconsistent exercise is better than no exercise at all.So if maintaining a regular regimen is impossible, do your best to get in the sporadic burst of exercise as often as possible. That could mean a quick visit to the gym, inserting sets between activities at home, or even taking the stairs rather than the elevator. 
Support your efforts with proper nutrition 
A healthy diet is an essential aspect of any fitness routine. In fact, if you’re working out extensively without eating enough to accommodate the efforts, you could actually be doing more harm than good due to the added stress put on your body. Be sure to get a balance of protein and healthy carbs from whole, unprocessed foods. There are even healthy foods that have been shown to combat depression, like salmon, sweet potatoes, avocados, broccoli, and leafy greens.
Don’t expect immediate results 
We all wish that exercise would deliver its effects instantly as if by magic, but that’s not how it works. Just like it takes time to burn off fat and gain muscle, you won’t see the full anti-depressant effects for around two weeks. In other words, don’t give up.
Get plenty of sleep 
Regular, deep sleep not only helps to stave off depression, but is an essential part of recovering from a workout. At the same time, working out helps to promote quality sleep. So be sure to get the recommended seven to eight hours every night.

MORE Health and Fitness ARTICLES

Indoor Fitness Guide for the Winter

Indoor Fitness Guide for the Winter
Let’s break this rundown into two sections. First, we’ll look at a few essentials that every fitness enthusiast should probably have around regardless of the season.

Get the most of your gym

Get the most of your gym
Now that summer has passed and we’re meandering through fall and toward winter, the majority of fitness enthusiasts are bringing their workout to the safety and comfort of being indoors. For many, that means heading back to the gym. So with this in mind, let’s take a moment to go through a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your gym workout.

Debunking Diabetes Myths

Debunking Diabetes Myths
Today, 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. The number of Canadians with diabetes has doubled in the last 12 years and that growth continues with another person diagnosed every three minutes. 

Bring back the dirt

Bring back the dirt

In South Asians, the risk of developing allergies is particularly high for children born to immigrant parents in North America. 

Boosting Your Sunshine Vitamin

Boosting Your Sunshine Vitamin

In Canada, 12 million Canadians (35 per cent) have vitamin D blood levels below the recommendations from Health Canada.

Road Trip Fitness

Road Trip Fitness

We’re deep in the season of road trips, and if you’re like many automobile adventurers you’ve found yourself wondering how to keep up your healthy habits while stuck behind the wheel for long periods of time.