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Mental health

3 reasons why physical activity is key to fighting the winter blues

Get moving for a natural boost of happiness

Winter in Canada isn’t always exactly a smooth experience. Regardless of the province you call home, dealing with the tumultuous conditions that come between November and March (OK, and sometimes April), may leave us feeling lethargic, depressed and tired.

From frigid temperatures to limited sunlight exposure to spending too much time indoors, more and more Canadians are fighting the ‘winter blues’. More accurately, many of us each year are fighting seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the clinical diagnosis for those feeling depressed during a particular season each year, usually fall or winter.

But, hold the phone for a minute. Before we get even more down on ourselves, and start booking impulsive trips to the Caribbean, why not try getting active instead? While everyone needs a good beach trip and some poolside time now and then, physical activity is a simple and effective way of combatting the winter blues without the hefty price. In fact, getting active can help all Canadians feel better in many aspects of their lives.

Women's Yoga class

Winter in Canada isn’t always exactly a smooth experience. Regardless of the province you call home, dealing with the tumultuous conditions that come between November and March (OK, and sometimes April), may leave us feeling lethargic, depressed and tired.

From frigid temperatures to limited sunlight exposure to spending too much time indoors, more and more Canadians are fighting the ‘winter blues’. More accurately, many of us each year are fighting seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the clinical diagnosis for those feeling depressed during a particular season each year, usually fall or winter.

But, hold the phone for a minute. Before we get even more down on ourselves, and start booking impulsive trips to the Caribbean, why not try getting active instead? While everyone needs a good beach trip and some poolside time now and then, physical activity is a simple and effective way of combatting the winter blues without the hefty price. In fact, getting active can help all Canadians feel better in many aspects of their lives.

1. Improved feelings of happiness – Like we mentioned above, one of the first benefits you will see after getting active is a likely boost in your overall happiness. When you get your heart pumping and the sweat pouring, your brain releases feel-good chemicals such a dopamine, serotonin and endorphins that leave you feeling upbeat and happier.

2. Better sleep – We could all use a little bit more shuteye in our lives, right? Especially when we’re feeling a beat down by winter. Thankfully, by getting active, we are setting ourselves up for optimal sleep, as adults who meet the weekly requirements of 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity report feeling more rested and less tired during the day then those who didn’t. And when you Sleep Better, you feel more alert and ready to tackle the day. Looking for another way to get more sleep? Download our new app before March 31st to eligible for $20,000 in prizes, including a brand-new mattress worth $2,000.

3. Boosted immune system – Being active obviously improves our overall fitness, but it can also boost our immune systems, too. In one study, women who walked for 30 minutes every day for a year reported half the number of colds than those who didn’t. Physical activity may also help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways reducing chances of colds as well as flus.

Spring might feel like it’s right around the corner, but as Canadians, we know all too well that we’re still in for a few rough weeks of winter. So, if you’re feeling like you could use a big ol’ boost of energy and happiness, try getting active.

Get the new (and FREE!) ParticipACTION app!

Want to Sleep Better, Happy Better or even Poop Better? Then get moving! It’s easy with the new (and FREE!) ParticipACTION app, designed to help you fit physical activity in your busy life and reward you with great prizes. Get the app.

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