Roughly 15 per cent of Australians and New Zealanders suffer from the winter blues, which is all the more reason to get out and bask in some glorious sunlight.
Experts have long said that exposure to natural light has a resounding impact on our mood, providing for a much sunnier outlook.
20 minutes of sunlight a day will not only improve your mood, it will also ensure you are dosed up on vitamin D, which has been proven to decrease our chances of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and even breast cancer.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have recently found that when our skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, it releases a compound in our blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure.
So grab a hat, lather on some sunscreen (water-resistant is best for when you sweat) and get out and amongst it.
Avoid indoor gym germs
While their warming indoor properties may render them appealing throughout the cooler months, gyms are often hotbeds for germs and bacteria, ranging from athlete’s foot to the influenza virus.
It’s best to invest in your own weights or dumbells, and do push ups and lunges outdoors among the crisp winter air.
Increase your lung capacity, decrease headaches
We spend roughly 90 per cent of our time indoors.
Not only does this impact our ability to absorb sufficient quantities of vitamin D, it also has repercussions on our respiratory system, which can lead to headaches and respiratory ailments such as asthma.
20 minutes of fitness outside will strengthen your lungs, so rug up and head out for a brisk walk or run.
Save money… and the environment
Your car gobbles up more fuel during winter (up to 50 per cent more, to be exact), meaning bad things for your wallet and the environment.
Similarly, indoor fitness centres will leave a noticeable dent in your bank account.
So leave the car parked at home for at least two fitness sessions a week, and reconnect with nature again; it’s a win/win for you and Mother N.
If you’re after some extra motivation to work up a sweat this winter, try taking up a whole new sport.
It will challenge your body in new ways, and ignite a fun sense of adventure during the cooler months.
Choose winter team sports such as touch footy, or sign up to partake in a fun run or half marathon; it will provide a challenge for you to work towards throughout the season, not to mention you’ll be fighting fit once summer arrives.
Read more: 4 tips to get you back into a running rhythm