Boost Your Energy This Winter | Health and beauty
Short, dark days in winter can cause you to lose energy, but hibernation isn’t the only option – there are things you can do to improve your energy levels.
Diane Ehren-Kipping, Head of Employee / Community Health and Wellbeing at Liberty Hospital, gives her energetic tips for getting through the season:
â¢ Eat healthy: âGood eating habits are essential,â said Ehren-Kipping. âDuring the winter, we tend to crave starchy foods. However, fruits and vegetables are the best foods all year round.
The Cleveland Clinic especially recommends kiwi, oranges, broccoli, potatoes, peppers, and berries. They are great sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and a host of other antioxidants to help with energy and boost the immune system. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens have also been shown to decrease symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
â¢ Exercise: Even if you feel like hibernating at night, exercise can make a significant difference in your energy level, added Ehren-Kipping, a registered nurse.
âIf possible, exercise at lunchtime or during the day or try new activities at night,â she said. âKeep moving. “
Because exercise delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently, it improves your heart and lung health, according to the Mayo Clinic. When these improve, you have more energy to complete daily tasks.
â¢ Get some sun: Because darkness causes your brain to produce the sleep hormone melatonin, it is essential to get the sun during daylight hours.
âOpen the curtains in the morning. Get outside whenever you can, even just for a brief lunchtime walk, âEhren-Kipping said. “Try to make sure your living and working spaces have as much natural light as possible.”
â¢ Regulate your sleep: While you might feel like you should act like a bear and hibernate in the winter months, you actually don’t need more sleep in the winter than in the summer.
âIn fact, sleeping too long can make you lethargic,â Ehren-Kipping said.
Adopt a regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. She suggests avoiding stimuli just before bed, like screen time and caffeine, and trying natural sleep remedies like lavender aromatherapy or soothing teas.
“A good night’s sleep and a regular sleep schedule can provide a boost of energy,” she added.
If you’ve been trying these things out and still feel tired or lethargic, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider.
“When your fatigue gets deep – which means it’s affecting your daily life, meaning you can’t get up in the morning – it’s a sign to see your health care provider,” Ehren-Kipping said.
Another reason to see a doctor is that your fatigue lasts longer than the winter months. Fatigue can also be a symptom of a long-lasting infection, so if it is accompanied by fever, chills, or a sore throat, seek immediate medical attention.