Exercise tips to beat seasonal affective disorder

How a work out can lift those early winter blues

It's that time of year again when our spirits begin to droop as the days get shorter and darker. Our soggy, sunlight-starved summer is likely to swell the numbers, estimated at half a million people in the UK, who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

It's believed that low light levels are responsible for leaving SAD sufferers feeling depressed, fatigued and sometimes craving carbohydrates and sweet foods from late autumn until early spring.

Get a natural high

As anyone who works out regularly knows, being active gives you a natural high through a combination of adrenalin, endorphins and oxygen being released in greater quantities in your body. Add in the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is generated in increased amounts through exercise, and you have a natural chemical pick-me-up. Exercise also keeps your immunity levels high, so you are also less likely to succumb to colds, coughs and bugs.

It's important at the outset to keep your self-image high. Put simply, when you feel out of shape, you tend to do things that do more harm than good, such as eating calorific comfort food and avoiding exercise.

Here are some tips to stop you feeling SAD:

Source - Times