Tuesday Training: Tips to Beat the Winter Blues and An I Can’t Get Off The Couch Total Body Workout
It’s winter. It’s cold. It’s dreary. It gets dark early. I don’t like it. I can’t wait for spring.
Do any of you feel this way, too? I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately that seem to share my thoughts on winter. I’ve also been hearing people complain about lack of energy, depression, being tired, etc. during the winter. Sound familiar?
I’m right there with you. I have a noticeable lack of energy when wintertime rolls around. And what you and I are feeling is scientifically valid. The latest research shows that around 20+ percent of us suffer from some form or another of “winter blues.” Not surprisingly, the people up north are more at risk than people living close to the equator.
Lack of sunlight or Vitamin D can disrupt our hormone regulation, lower our serotonin levels, and increase melatonin. Because of this, more than 20% of us will experience some form of depression, irritability and trouble sleeping and concentrating.
I love the sun, but I don’t just love it – I need it. We all need the sunlight and Vitamin D to be healthy, happy humans. Want to know just how essential sunlight and Vitamin D is for us? This was taken from my favorite Primal website, Mark’s Daily Apple:
-Vitamin D regulates the levels of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream, and it promotes the mineralization and growth of bones, working together with calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin K2.
-Vitamin D plays a massive role in the immune response, activating and “arming” the killer T-cells for defense against infections and bacteria.
-Vitamin D modulates the expression of genes that regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation, suggesting a potential role in cancer incidence. Epidemiology suggests links between vitamin D deficiency and most cancers, including breast, colorectal, and pretty much all the big ones.
-Vitamin D reduces systemic, chronic inflammation.
So now that we know why Vitamin D is essential for us, how to we get it?
Sunlight! We should be getting at least 20 minutes of sunlight a day to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
But it’s January, it’s cold, and where I live it’s not possible to get at least 20 minutes of sunlight a day during this time of year. This leaves me feeling tired, sluggish and not sleeping as well as I should. So what do I do and what should you do?
Supplement with D3 in the winter.
I am usually not a big fan of supplements because I feel a good, natural, primal diet provides us with all our vitamins and minerals. However, in this circumstance, I do supplement with a good vitamin D in the winter when it’s not possible to get adequate amounts any other way. During the spring and summer, I love getting my Vitamin D from the sun. But, come fall and winter, I take Vitamin D supplements and this helps me out tremendously. This is the the one I use – It’s the best, all natural one that I’ve found and contains nothing artificial and no additives.
Vitamin D3 5000 IU, 360 Mini Softgels (GMO-free, Preservative-free, Soy-free, USP Grade Natural Vitamin D in Organic Olive Oil)
Another way to boost your serotonin levels is exercise. If you suffer from the winter blues, it’s hard to get motivation to get off the couch and exercise. Believe me, I have been there, too and know just how you feel! So I created a workout that you don’t even have to leave your couch to complete. I’ve even made it that you don’t need anything other than yourself and your sofa. Instead, you’ll be using your couch as a tool to help you with the moves. You’ll never look at your sofa the same way again 😉
I CAN’T GET OFF THE COUCH TOTAL BODY WORKOUT
Do this routine in a circuit which means you do the first exercise and then keep moving on to the next until you’ve reached the end. Then it’s time to repeat! Make sure you do a few minutes of warmup (light jog in place, leg kicks, arm circles, etc.) and a few minutes of cool down/stretching at the end. As always, feel free to comment down below with any questions.
30 Step up, Leg Lift, Arm Raises
10 Push ups – decline or incline
10 Dips with leg extended (5 each leg)
10 each side elevated back foot split lunge
10 hip raises
10 knees to chest
great winter workout, can’t wait to share it with Michele when she gets home, this routine will be my new morning stretches. Thanks Kelly!
Awesome, Kevin! Hope she likes it! 🙂
Just did the workout and I really like it. I don’t have a gym membership so it’s nice to see things that I can do at home. I like how you explain everything, too. I sent it to some of my friends, too!
Awesome, Thanks Ina!! I post new workouts every Tuesday, so make sure to check them out or subscribe so you don’t miss any 🙂
I get the winter blues for sure. I am going to try the Vitamin D. Question though – can’t we get Vitamin D through certain foods? And if so, do you know which foods? Thanks!
Hi Megan! Great question. Vitamin D is in certain foods like eggs, salmon, catfish, and cod liver oil. However, even if we eat a lot of these tihngs, it doesn’t increase our D levels enough in the body like sun does so a supplement in this case is necessary if you aren’t getting enough sunlight a day. Hope that helps!
Loved the workout – will keep this one to do often this winter! Thanks!
So happy you like it, Rita!!
Great idea for a workout. There are so many times that I don’t feel like getting off my sofa, so this will be a good one for me when I don’t feel like going to the gym
I hear you Amedar! I get the same way sometimes!
Ugh winter is totally putting a kill to my workout ambition. As if two boys don’t do that enough already!! Was lucky enough to bundle up and get out and do 9 miles Saturday – back to the bitter temps this week though in NY 🙁 http://www.colorushealthy.com
9 miles – you go!! This chick hasn’t seen 9 miles in a loooong time (and I don’t think you could pay me to run that far in the freezing cold! lol)