SAD and Exercise – How you can keep Happy and Healthy this Winter!1 Nov
SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Depression), affects many people and can be a struggle to deal with in these winter months.
But what is SAD and how does exercise help?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition that is more common in the winter months. It can be caused by lack of sunshine which leads to lower serotonin levels affecting your mood, appetite and sleep. Because of the darker months, your internal clock finds it harder to wake you up when it’s darker, something we can all relate too! Lower light levels also affect other essential functions, including when to eat etc.
Symptoms of SAD are:
- persistent low mood
- finding it hard to get up in the morning
- loss of interest in everyday activities
- gaining weight
- craving unhealthy foods
- feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day
- You can find more on symptoms and causes by heading to the NHS website, or if you feel like this is something you suffer from, please go and see your GP.
Exercise is really beneficial for anyone struggling with SAD or depression. It releases endorphins, helping to improve your mood and self-esteem. Exercise also increases energy levels, helping you to sleep and reducing anxiety!
Low-impact exercises are the best for SAD; these help you to focus on you and relax away from daily struggles. Yoga, Tai Chi, swimming and running are all great and can help when struggling with SAD or other mental health conditions. Best of all, they’re all activities that can be done indoors at your local Brio centre, away from the cold and wet winter weather!
Even if you can’t commit to a class, or don’t have enough time to go for a swim; 10 minutes of activity in the morning, or before you go to bed can lift your mood! Active housework, or walking a little further than usual, can even help you.