Three ways to lift the winter blues

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014. Filed under: Health & Fitness Sports & Recreation
One cure for the winter blues: exercising in the cold, fresh air, scientists say. ©Gorilla/

One cure for the winter blues: exercising in the cold, fresh air, scientists say.

(Relaxnews) – When winter is in full swing, all those dark, frigid days can give you “the winter blues” — mild depression that can cause low energy and waning motivation. Here are a few research-backed ways to lift yourself out of the doldrums.

Go green: If you’re a city dweller, a new study published last month from the University of Exeter in the UK suggests getting yourself to greener pastures. Living in a concrete jungle isn’t always beneficial for your mental health, but urbanites who live near a park or garden showed improved mental health, findings showed. Can’t pick up and move? Prior research suggests bundling up and visiting parks more often, even when it’s cold. Even an office can be enhanced with a desk plant, which can also be beneficial to your well-being, experts say.

Get to the beach: Regardless of blustery weather, 2012 research from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall, found that spending time near the ocean can enhance emotional health. The two-year study of more than 2,750 participants showed that hanging out near the seaside is better for emotional and physical health than a stroll in a park, although walks in any natural environment did enhance feelings of enjoyment, calmness, and refreshment.

Break a sweat: Despite dips in temperature, exercising outdoors can boost your mental well-being, research finds. Findings published in 2011 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology showed that outdoor exercise enhanced “greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression,” the scientists said. Still, if it’s just too frigid outside, you can generate plenty of mood-boosting endorphins from exercising indoors. Opt for the gym or work out at home with videos, DVDs, or fitness apps.


Share Button

Related posts

Could daylight savings promote kids’ fitness?Kids who play outside are more spiritual and creative: studyExercise can reduce depression in teens: studyWorking out with friends is more fun: studyKids need more activity, less TV: reportTop health/fitness apps: Zero Stress, HRV4 TrainingCamping resets your biological clock: studyExercising, even when you don’t want to, reduces stress: studySpecialist sees Pokémon Go as means of tackling type 2 diabetesElite athletes’ brains 82% faster: studyGetting in the groove: study offers rare insight on physical interactionYour friends could predict your lifespan: studyGamification ever-present in fitness apps, but does it work?Quantifying how pets improve healthIncreasing physical activity can be as easy as thinking about it: studyWalking can help creative thinking: studyUS moms doing less housework, watching more TV: studyFive worst celebrity diets to avoid in the New YearCan baking make you happy?Health/fitness apps: Simply Being, iSergeant, Girl’s Diary