Don’t let a bad winter mood stop you exercising
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If you’re feeling the cold this winter, you may be one of the many people who are in the grip of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short.

Winter can be a tough time because the days are short, the nights are long and the winds can be bitter – but if you’ve got SAD, you might have an even greater desire to hibernate than usual.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

SAD is a seasonal condition that has an effect on your mood. It’s believed to be triggered by the short days and long nights we go through during the winter.

If SAD affects you, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • sadness
  • fatigue
  • overeating
  • lethargy
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating

If you find that you’ve got these symptoms, you’re in luck because the treatment is simple. Exercise and self care.

Does Exercise Help With SAD?

Exercise has been shown to relieve SAD and get you back to normal again.

Ask anyone who exercises regularly and they’ll explain that exercise can help you sleep, improve your mood and really make you feel great when the endorphins kick in. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, improve your metabolism and feel more energetic throughout the day.

What Exercises Are Good for SAD?

You’ll likely feel the benefit from any type of exercise although many people say aerobic exercise really helps them shake off the SAD. Good types of aerobic exercise to try include walking, boxing and spin classes. You can really ramp up the benefits with some cross training by including activities such as yoga, HIIT sessions, and strength workouts. Exercising with a friend is a great way to stay motivated, and socialisation will help you shake off the SAD at the same time.

How do I Get Motivated to Exercise in Winter?

Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to get motivated to exercise in the winter. However, here’s some of our top tips:

  • Make a plan to stick to
  • Work out inside
  • Book a class
  • Exercise with a buddy
  • Make sure you have the correct clothing
  • Have answers for your excuses
  • Use treats to motivate
  • Make a playlist
  • Eat wisely
  • Use the 10 minute rule

Where to Start?

Even if you start slowly, you’ll feel the benefits in no time, and just ten minutes a day of informal exercise can help. You might hit the gym with friends for a short session, or if you’re feeling ready for a longer session, you could join one of our classes here at UG. Getting in touch with the community here at UG is a great way to get active and involved, and you might even find others that are trying to beat the winter blues just like you.