The weather might be picking up a little bit but we’ve still got a long wait until summer gets here, it’s going to be a while before the daylight hours stretch out into the evening and the sun is up before us in the morning. With the excitement of the holidays over it can seem like a lacklustre time of year and it’s easy to start feeling down or just a bit low but there’s plenty of simple and easy changes you can make to your life to pull that mood back around and rediscover that spring in your step.
Regulate Sleep Patterns
Sleep patterns can be a good indication of your mental state, too much sleep or not enough sleep or even erratic sleep patterns can be one of the major signs of depression. It’s natural for our brain to want a little more sleep in the autumn when the days start getting shorter but by the New Year our body has adjusted and you should be getting seven to eight hours sleep every night. If you’re finding it hard to drift off at night try writing down the things that are on your mind and doing a relaxing activity like reading or a word search to help your brain wind down. Try not to spend too much time lying in bed at the weekends, if you can make sure you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day to help your mind and your body get into a routine.
We all know the health benefits of regular exercise, it’s good for the heart and it helps with weight management. It’s also very good for people with any type of depression. When we exercise our brains release serotonin and endorphins which create a natural high. This high can also be found by eating too much sugar too quickly but the buzz you get from exercise will last longer and won’t have the sharp come down you experience from a sugar low. If you are feeling down this time of year try getting at least a few hours of regular exercise every week, whether it’s getting off the bus a couple of stops early and walking a bit more or getting down the swimming baths one evening a week and your overall mood will soon start to improve as well as your overall health.
Healthy eating goes hand in hand with regular exercise, we know we’re meant to eat healthy and we know the difference between food that’s good for us and food that isn’t. Junk food, ready meals and anything that’s process and full of additives and E numbers can leave us feeling lethargic and sluggish. You’re also going to get a sugar crash if you eat too much junk food so try swapping any snack foods for healthier alternatives and make as many of your meals as possible from scratch so you know what’s going into them. If time can be an issue or your simple don’t feel like preparing a meal when you come home at night try cooking at the weekend and storing your dinner for the week in the freezer or investing in a slow cooker so everything cooks while you’re out each day.
The science behind SAD suggests it’s the lack of light that brings our mood down. There’s very little natural light this time of year and for those of us that spend most our day in an artificially lit office we don’t see much day light at all. Research indicates that being exposed to short bursts of intense light can improve our mood. Unfortunately standing under the florescent lights in the office don’t have quite the same effect but you can buy a light box that emits almost three times the intensity of natural light on a dull day, obviously you wouldn’t look right into the light but facing it with your eyes closed two to three times a day will increase your overall mood and well being.
Try Something New
It’s often the thought of monotony that gets us down this time of year, everything we were looking forward to has passed and we’ve got a few months until the weather really starts to pick up. If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut find a new hobby or activity, take an evening course, learn a new language, start going to a workout class, find something that appeals to you and make that change. Before long this new hobby will come with its own goals and points to look forward to and this will be enough to outweigh any lacklustre feelings you have related to the time of year.
To help bring a healthy attitude into your home JTX Fitness have a selection of great value home gym equipment including cross trainers, vibration plates and cheap motorised treadmills
After the over indulgence of December and the Christmas period, many of us turn a new leaf for the New Year and aim to lose some weight. For many this new regime is a promising one and can yield great results if you know where to start.
One of the most important things about your new weight regime is to set realistic goals, or targets. Losing a large amount of weight over a short period may seem great in the immediate future; however, such weight loss is very hard to keep up and also keep off, and once you return to your old ways you will end up putting in back on nearly as fast as it came off.
Set a realistic goal of around two pounds a week for weight loss. This will allow you to do so quite easily, while also ensure that you keep the excess off in the long term too. Losing weight over a short period result in much of what is lost being water, vitamins, bone density, protein and other essentials and is bad for health.
Take Something Up
Though you’ll be giving up your favorite treats, you should also take something up. Sport and exercise speed up the metabolic rate and allow you to burn off the calories at a quicker pace. This increases the speed of weight loss. It also means you to tone up and build muscle density, and so you look and feel better. Look into classes at local sports centres, go for a walk, or play on a sports team in your area to aid loss.
Preparation is one of the keys to eating properly and losing weight. Plan your meals for the week and do one large shop in preparation. This will ensure that you don’t have to go to the supermarket and aren’t tempted by the sugary and sweet snacks there. You can also plan a number of healthy meals for your week.
Try avoid Carbohydrates and Fats
Carbohydrates and fat are the greatest cause of weight gain. For people who aren’t extremely active, such as components of food are not necessary in large amounts. Of course if you are exercising you will need some carbohydrates for energy – however, reducing the intake of these will aid weight loss. You should also try and eat foods, which are below 4 per cent in fat. To determine this, look at the amount of fat per 100g on the side of the pack. If it is above 4g per 100g try to avoid it.
Eating fibre rich food is a great way to aid weight loss. Foods that have a high amount of fibre, such as vegetables keep you fuller longer. Vegetables are also low in sugars and fat generally and high in minerals and vitamins, meaning you can eat a large amount of, them, and they have less calorie impact than many other foods.
Drinking plenty of water will also aid your weight loss and ensure you feel healthier. Drink at least two litres of water per day to remain hydrated, more if exercising. This will make your skin look better, flush out those Christmas toxins and will also make you feel fuller, so you don’t eat as much. Water is also calorie free.
When beginning your New Year weight loss regime, remain balanced, follow these rules and be patient, and you shall succeed.
About the Author: Josie Harper currently writes for 121doc.co.uk who specialise in a range of online medication.
It’s that time of year again – New Year resolutions are pouring in from everyone you know. It would be very surprising if you or someone you know weren’t planning on losing weight, getting in shape, or striving for a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.
Many people struggle with keeping in shape or loosing weight. Here are a few tips that can go a long way to help shed those unwanted rolls.
Don’t skip meals
If you are thinking that fasting to lose weight is a good idea, think again. Fasting and skipping meals actually leads to a decrease in weight loss, and in most cases an increase in weight gain. This is usually due to unnecessary cravings getting the best of you and binging when you should be eating healthy.
If you do not have time to cook or feel like you need to skip a meal because you are too busy, try meal replacement shakes as an alternative. Get the nutrients and protein you need to lose weight.
Start small and build up
It’s hard to go from eating out every night to eating nothing but whole foods and eliminating your junk cravings. Start with one thing at a time – whether replacing fast carbs with slow carbs, or eating more whole foods instead of processed snacks and meats.
The same can be said with exercise – don’t think you will commit to going to the gym every day if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in over 6 months. Baby steps are the way to lose weight. Stay focused and conquer one thing at a time.
Change the way you snack
Instead of snacking on chips or candy, try replacing your usual snack time with an actual meal. Make a very small meal consisting of a good balance of healthy food and eat that instead of snacking. You’ll notice that you will soon lose your cravings for junk food all together.