We’re in the thick of a brutal Northeast winter and there’s no getting around it. Temperatures outside have been below zero on a daily basis, digging your car out of a four-foot snowdrift before and after work has become the norm, and there have been so many snow days that the school year will probably stretch well into July. For the cold-weather loving folks out there, the past few weeks outside have been a winter wonderland filled with snowshoe adventures and snowball fights; for the rest of the crowd (most of the crowd) you’ve been stuck in the gym or on the couch with a lurking fear that hell will freeze over before we begin to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
In lieu of using the low temps as an excuse to skip a workout, start a new season of a bad TV series that you really don?t care about, or feeling sorry for yourself for “not being a cold weather person”, we’ve got a better solution. And it’s exceedingly simple – get outside.
The single best way to combat the winter blues – both mentally and physically – is to get more fresh air. So don’t let the fact that it’s only February prevent you from accessing the most readily available source of Mother Nature’s goodness out there and reaching improved overall well being of mind and body.
How exactly will breathing in fresh air and getting outside lead to a happier, healthier version of you?
- Fresh air helps clean and clear your lungs – by taking deeper, longer breaths you are releasing more airborne toxins from your body.
- Fresh air allows you to train harder – more oxygen in the body’s cells leads to higher energy levels so you can train harder for increased performance and noticeable results.
- Fresh air leads to a sharper mind – your brain needs 20% of your body’s oxygen so more oxygen brings greater clarity to the brain to improve concentration and positively affect mental and physical energy levels.
- Fresh air strengthens your immune system – white bloods cells kill and fight bacteria and germs and need enough oxygen to function optimally.
- Fresh air helps you to digest food more effectively and maintain healthy blood pressure and heart rate levels.
- Fresh air makes you happier – the amount of serotonin in your body is affected by how much oxygen you inhale. Increased serotonin will lighten your mood and promote happiness and relaxation.
- Fresh air encourages you to get creative with your workouts and to appreciate that being outside is fun! Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, sleep in an igloo, or pick up a new winter sport that you haven’t tried before (cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ski-mountaineering).
So what’s your next move?
Register for an O2X Summit Challenge. Signing up for a race during the off-season is the ultimate get-ahead-of-the-game and beat-the-winter-blues action item – so register now to stay on track with goal-setting and training consistency.
STILL need a push to start a new workout routine, sign up for a race, or to simply get your mental game back on track during the winter doldrums? Layer up, turn your favorite playlist on, lace up your shoes, walk out the door, and stop thinking. Get your blood pumping while you breath in some of Mother Nature’s finest and we can guarantee that you’ll return with a better mindset and a clearer idea of what your next best move should be.