Today we’re going to talk about how to stay active and healthy through the colder months. As we record this it’s the first day of Fall and gardening and preserving is winding down, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop being active. Try these 10 tips for a happy productive chilly season! Comment below if you think I’ve left anything out or have a great tip you’d like to share.
1. Get Some Sun
Depending on where you live this is easier said than done. There are some places that are cloudy or overcast for months. So if you are lucky and live in a place where the sun shines on a regular basis, go out for at least 10 minutes a day, even if you have to bundle up. Your body makes vitamin D from the ultraviolet B (UVB) sunlight you receive. This helps you physically and mentally. If you live in a place that doesn’t see the sun and are sensitive to the “winter blues” or have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), then there are special lights you can purchase that are designed to combat this disorder and help you stay productive and happy throughout the cooler months.
2. Move Around
This might seem obvious to a lot of people, but then sometimes we don’t realize how sedentary we’ve been. Especially if you’re like me and spend a good amount of time working in front of a computer. If this sounds familiar it’s a good idea to make a conscious effort to stop what you’re doing and move around. Even if you have limited mobility, you don’t want to lose the mobility you have, so stop and move around.
Then if you’re able, plan to exercise a few times a week. It’s best to do this with a partner or friend because it keeps you accountable. If someone is waiting on you, then you’re less likely to skip your exercise routine.
3. Grow Some Plants
There is a saying that goes, “planting a garden is having hope and believing in the future.” This is true for planting seeds or seedlings inside too. Grow something you like. Of course, I would recommend growing some food because you’ll have some food you can look forward to eating. Many people can grow tomatoes or herbs in their window sills even in the winter. Getting a small grow light would be an inexpensive investment to make and you’ll get to look forward to some organic food. If you really like growing food inside check out our Hydroponics eCourse.
4. Pamper Yourself
It sounds silly, right? What does pampering yourself have to do with eating healthy and being active? Well, let me be clear, I don’t mean pamper yourself by eating donuts or some other thing that’s not healthy. (Although there is a time and place for that, see below.) I mean to pamper yourself by taking care of your skin and hair. Then also to get some time to relax. The more you take care of yourself the less likely you’ll go on a Twinkie or Ding-Dong binge, because you’ve already invested a certain amount of effort in yourself. It’ll be harder to go backward and eat junk.
5. Natural Remedies
Explore taking care of any chronic conditions with some natural options. If can reduce or eliminate the amount of over the counter medicine you take then you might find yourself feeling better. Often over the counter medicine have side effects or actually make the conditions you’re taking the medications for worse. Side effects are still possible with natural remedies but they are a lot less likely.
6. Natural Cleaning Products
You might be asking yourself how is using natural cleaning products going to help me eat better and stay active? Well, they might not help you eat better, but they might help you stay active. One of the biggest problems for me before I started using natural cleaning products was inhaling all the fumes from commercial cleaners as they often made me feel nauseous. So switching to natural cleaning products might help you feel better about cleaning your house, which is a great activity to keep you active. It also might help you actually feel better physically because you don’t have to breathe in junk.
7. Make Some New Recipes
I don’t really believe in special diets or even special ways of eating other than to cook with real whole food. However, as I’ve gotten older I do feel that when I eat too much sugar I don’t feel well. I have recently discovered Trim Healthy Mama, which focuses on grouping certain foods together for each meal, basically alternating fatty meals with complex carb meals, and I find that has helped me feel better. My family and I were vegetarian for many years but have changed things around this past year because I wasn’t feeling well.
8. Keep a Journal
Sometimes we get super busy and this is hard to do, but I still encourage you to try, even if you journal with bullet points or through pictures. If you keep a journal you can be reminded of the things that worked and also the things that didn’t work so you can avoid them in the future.
9. Plan For The Future
When you plan for the future you can overcome temptation in the present. This works in two ways. First, plan some great activities with your friends or family and also plan out things like your next growing season. (Scroll down to see how you can get my gardening planner for FREE.)
Also if you plan out your menus then you’re less likely to be tempted by processed convenience food. You can do this in several ways. I like to batch cook so on the days when I can’t get into the kitchen there is always something to eat in the freezer or in storage. Whatever strategy or method you use you just need to have a plan. This means also having a plan to treat yourself once in a while on something that might not be super healthy for you. If you plan for it you’re less likely to go overboard.
10. Help Others
When I help others it makes me happy, so if I’m in a good mood I’m less likely to deviate from my menu or skip exercise. Also if I feel good because I’m taking care of myself, I can help more. So you can see how this is a good cycle to put yourself into.