Unfortunately, for many of us, as the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, our moods drop and our weight increases. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder begin when the daylight hours fade and we miss the few hours available to us due to the increased time indoors. The good news is that you can play an active role in relieving your symptoms and benefit from increased weight loss from outdoor exercise in cold weather. Now is your chance to kmake your winter off education and set a best time for the season.
HOW TO FIGHT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER SYMPTOMS
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can affects everyone and occurs in 6-14% of the population depending on where you live. (1) SAD can not only make you feel terrible, but it can make you gain weight in winter from being more comfortable eating and more Contributing time alone. (2)
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that occurs at the same time each year, usually winter. Symptoms are depression, fatigue, hopelessness, and retreat. A lesser form of the seasonal change of mood is known as winter blues.
Outdoors a practice can be the best solution to this serious problem. Light thereapy is a traditional treatment for SAD. It is exposed to a SAD lamp that mimics natural sunlight. Most people respond to light therapy within a few days. The recommended usage time of a SAD lamp is 30-90 minutes per day at an intensity of 10,000 lux. (3)
In addition to light therapy, scientific evidence suggests that outdoor exercise can also alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder through the chemical release of serotonin (one of the happiness hormones) (4) and through natural sun exposure! (5, 6)
Exercise is a proven strategy for dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression. (7) Postpone this exercise during the lunch break outdoors and you also benefit from natural daylight and the fresh air.
Do you know how much your diet affects your mood? Adjust your diet natural mood enhancers and make your winter so much brighter.
Interestingly, despite their northern location and short winter days, the Japanese and Icelandic populations have surprisingly low rates of SAD. (8, 9) It is believed that the fish-rich diet of both countries (60 and 90 kg per year compared to 24 kg in Canada) strengthens essential vitamin D stores and combats the symptoms of SAD.
WHAT CAUSES WINTER WEIGHT GAIN
Gaining weight in winter is one thing, but don’t worry – it’s not the 2kg pile we read about in magazines. Actually the average Weight gain over the winter season is only 0.48kg. (10) The professionalOne mistake is that those extra pounds stick on. They don’t go away during the summer months and over time can lead to obesity.
The cause of winter weight gain is debated, but the evidence points to two key factors; Lifestyle and biology. No wonder that we prefer to cuddle up inside and stow our running shoes in the winter months. Add to that the heavy meals, chocolate, and alcohol that we consume on vacation, and you have a recipe for them Weight gain.
BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF WINTER WEIGHT GAIN
The biological origins of our cold-age kilograms are much deeper: We humans have an innate urge to gain weight in order to survive food shortages. (11) Historically, this was worse in the winter months. The risk of overeating was not an issue at the time. Now we have to choose between Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and Profiteroles. Scientists at the University of Exeter suggest that New Years Day could be the worst day to start a new diet. (12) So, until our biology advances, we need a solution. Exercise outdoors is the perfect antidote.
COLD WEATHER MAXIMIZES YOUR CALORIES BURN
Exercise is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to prevent unwanted weight gain. For significant weight loss, however, the current recommendations for physical activity are more than four hours per week! (13) Winter outdoor exercise is the secret to maximizing calorie consumption in the colder months. Here’s why:
ACTIVATE YOUR BROWN FAT TISSUE
Most of our body fat is stored as inactive white adipose tissue (WAT), which provides insulation but cannot generate heat. In extreme cold, the shivering can increase our energy expenditure (i.e. burn calories)ed) five times above the resolutionting level. (14) HoHowever, tremors are very uncomfortable and are not recommended as a strategy for increasing calorie burning.
What is brown adipose tissue (BAT)?
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is metabolically active adipose tissue that is involved in the production and distribution of heat in the body. BAT helps hibernating mammals keep warm during winter and was recently discovered in humans.
Brown Adipose tissue, on the other hand, has a special property. This vital tissue is activated in cold temperatures and generates the heat that we need for normal function. The heat development at cold temperatures can, apart from the chill,11.8% of resting energy expenditure. (15) A recent study in Frontiers in Physiology showed that BAT adapts to outside temperatures, generating more heat and burning more calories as the weather gets colder. (16)
Today we spend 90% of our time indoors, where the ambient temperature is often controlled. It is believed that the rise in obesity is related to our constant warm environmentIng. (17)
Exercising in the cold will activate your brown adipose tissue (BAT) and improve your body’s thermoregulation while burning extra calories.
BAT activation by exposure to cold also increases insulin sensitivity, regulates blood sugar and lowers the risk of weight gain. (18, 19, 20)
So there you have it. Outdoor exercise and wIntertraining burns more calories and improves mood. Now that you have the cold, hard facts, it’s time to go outside this winter. Relieve Seasonal affective disorder Symptoms with outside a practice!
If you need a little more motivation, give this a try adidas training playlist. Put on your headphones and get moving!