So, Christmas is over. The presents have been opened and the food has been eaten. Games have been played and much fun has been had but the tree is now bare, and you’re left feeling a little underwhelmed to say the least. How are you going to get through the dark month of January?
So, here is how to beat the January blues:
Don’t make unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions
If you make New Year’s Resolutions, make sure that they are achievable. Losing 5 stone in 3 months is not! Making overambitious resolutions could mean you fail, leaving you feeling worse than you did before. Try to set small achievable goals spread throughout the year which will be more do-able. It’s easier to jump over a set of small hurdles than it is to jump over one 6ft high wall!
Go back to the gym (or join!)
Are you feeling tired, lethargic, sluggish and out of shape? Has your ‘get up and go’ got up and gone? Exercise is a miracle remedy that should be prescribed to everyone. Most of us don’t get our recommended dose and that is why our health is suffering! The gym might be the last place that you feel like going, but it is exactly what you need to improve your mood, boost your happiness and energy levels and build muscle strength. It gives you a feeling of well-being and enables you to carry out everyday tasks more easily. It helps to control weight, promote better sleep and reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, cancer and heart disease.
Make 2020 the year you turn your diet around and start eating healthily
It might seem like a hard task to change the way you eat, especially if you’ve had the same diet for a long time, but if you change things slowly and don’t try to tackle everything in one go, it can be easily achievable.
Simple steps to eating a healthier diet include:
Choosing whole foods instead of processed- swap pizza and ready meals for lean meat, fish, eggs, fresh fruit, veg and whole grains such as wholemeal pasta and brown rice.
Cut down (or cut out) sugary drinks such as coke and replace with herbal teas or flavoured water (add lemons, limes and other fruit to flavour).
Keep healthy snacks available for when you get hungry so that you reach for those instead of a chocolate bar (try nuts, dried berries, fruit, veg sticks and hummus)
Eat more fish. Fish is an excellent source of omega 3, especially salmon and mackerel, which improve brain and heart health.
Try using a smaller plate. Over the past few decades meal sizes have got larger and larger and we now eat far more food than we need. Try cutting your portion sizes and aim to have 50% of your plate filled with veg or salad, 25% of your plate filled with starchy cabs such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta or potatoes, and 25% of your plate filled with protein and fats such as meat, fish or eggs.
Pay more attention to the nutrients in your diet instead of the calories. There is a huge difference between 100 calories of blueberries and 100 calories of chocolate. Food is fuel for your body, so you need to put the right fuel in to get the best performance out.
Increase your water intake to at least 2 litres a day to prevent dehydration. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger so if you’re feeling peckish, have a drink first to see if you are really hungry or just thirsty.
Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D.
We all need Vitamin D to absorb calcium and support bone growth and this can be quite hard to get throughout the winter months, due to the lack of sunshine. Try eating more eggs, oily fish and mushrooms to boost your Vitamin D. If you find that you’re not getting enough from your food, you can take a good quality supplement.
Look after your mental health
It’s just as important to look after our minds as it is our bodies. Unfortunately, as with exercise, some people leave this until it’s too late. Look after your mental health now to help prevent problems in the future.
The short days and dark nights in the winter months can make us feel more tired and leave us feeling low and with no inclination to do anything. We just want to sit inside with the fire and the tv! While exercise might be the last thing that you feel like doing, try to get as much physical activity as you can as this is excellent at lifting your mood, helping you to sleep better and increasing your energy levels. Try to get outside as much as you can during the day. Make sure you eat well, including lots of fresh, wholesome foods. We all need human interaction and talking to people gives us a sense of belonging and happiness, whether that’s a good old gossip with friends or a chat with the person on the checkout at the supermarket. Take 10 minutes a day to clear and relax your mind, by sitting with a coffee and a magazine, going for a walk or having a relaxing bath.
So, the only New Year’s resolution you need for 2020 is:
Join W Fitness!
Let W Fitness help you get through the dark winter months. Come and use our fun 30-minute circuit to work out, use our cardio equipment and get advice on your nutrition, all in our friendly, supportive, women’s only fitness studio. We want to help you feel fitter, stronger, happier and healthier!
What are you waiting for?