In the winter most people don’t want to go outside, especially to exercise. But when it gets cold and dark it’s even more important to get your body moving. The reason is simple: your psychology follows your physiology. And it turns out that exercise and overall fitness not only improves your health, but can change your mood.

Lots of people get depressed in the winter whereas they might ordinarily be happy throughout the rest of the year. They don’t like to be stuck in the house and it makes them anxious or depressed. So they slump their shoulders down, point their eyes to the ground, and tend to not move a lot. What’s really happening is that we are using our body to protect ourselves from the cold, but our physiology can put our psychology into a state of depression.

But the reverse is also true: getting moving is the first step to beating the winter blues. Pull your shoulders up and back, the way you would during the summer when you’re strutting your stuff on the beach. If you start taking deeper breaths instead of shallow breaths, start walking with a spring in your step and looking up, and get moving on a regular basis, your mood will improve and you’ll start feeling a little snappier.

Then, bring your favorite exercise activities indoors. My goal is always to take a typical day that might be wasted and try to turn it into an opportunity to improve my health

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Photo by summonedbyfells

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