Top tips on how to keep your vibe up this winter!
Winter Wellness - Stay Well, Stay Happy Edition..
With winter now in full swing, you can be forgiven for daydreaming about hibernation and hearty bowls of warm stodge. Once the cold sets in, leaving the warmth of your bed can be difficult and is often met with a grimace, procrastination, and a few rounds with the snooze button. As for that early morning exercise routine? Many of us kiss that goodbye too. Counter to the message from the voice in your head (the voice that insists you stay in bed!) is your body’s need to maintain a good state of physical, mental and spiritual health. Collectively, this is commonly referred to as embracing Winter Wellness.
Here in New Zealand, we are fortunate to live in a country that serves as a year-round playground. During the winter months, getting out and about can often be just as invigorating and enjoyable as the adventures on offer through summer. Our climate is such that even on the coldest days, we can still head outdoors. And, what’s more, many of these outdoor pursuits are on the house! Our country is full of Regional Parks with beautifully maintained tracks, proper signage and spectacular views. Often, these parks take us through breathtaking sections of native bush, providing both a powerful and therapeutic experience. Our coastlines boast beautiful beaches, which are easily accessible from many parts of the country. For the brave, a mid-winter ocean dip is a brilliant way to awaken the senses. Skiing and snowboarding are the perfect ways to celebrate the cold and enjoy New Zealand’s natural wonders. With world-class ski fields in both the North and the South Island, experiencing the snow is something many Kiwis enjoy every season.
Winter can be a great time to explore other exercise disciplines, especially if the colder climes mean that you no longer enjoy your routine; Yoga, meditation and Tai chi are some great examples. Widely praised for their contributions to overall wellbeing, these practices keep stress levels in check and support mobility. A quick Google search will quickly unearth class options in your local area.
Maintaining a reasonable fitness level through winter will strengthen your constitution, making you less likely to fall victim to that office bug! As will taking care of your nutrition. Eating seasonal fruit and vegetables is the best way to access the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs to last the winter months. It’s not a coincidence that citrus fruits laden with vitamin C are in season over winter! Seasonal vegetables include leeks, parsnip, swedes and yams. There’s no shortage of recipe inspiration available on the internet and in our local newspapers if you’re unsure what to do with them. Why not set a challenge to explore as many winter vegetables as you can this season?
Of course, one of the best ways to support wellness is to spend time with friends and family. Time spent with people you love, trust and enjoy being around will trigger your body’s feel-good chemicals, reducing your chances of catching the winter blues. If you’re not engaging in any of the activities mentioned above, our vibrant cities and inspiring provincial towns have much to offer from a cultural perspective; film festivals, live theatre, museums, Famer’s Markets, food shows and art galleries. Again, a quick Google search, and you’ll be struggling to choose from a list of wildly exciting options. Many of these options are family-friendly, catering to the needs of even your youngest team member. If not, stay home, dust off the Scrabble, challenge your kids to a game of Monopoly, embark on a 1000-piece puzzle or get creative. Preserving your spiritual and mental health through winter is about thinking outside of the box!
Winter needn’t be a time to shut the world away and retreat into your cave; in fact, it’s strongly advised that you don’t. Nor should striving to maintain wellness through these months be a chore. If nothing else, keep that spring in your step and your face toward the sunshine. A positive mindset is quickly born from or preserved with just the smallest acts. And, if winter isn’t your favourite time of year, there is one thing you can be positive about, summer is hot on its tail!
Check out our website for any sporting accessories or clothing you may need to keep fit and healthy this winter. Sportclub recommend a softshell jacket to protect you from the elements and maybe some indoor gym equipment if you don't wish to brave the cold!