energy in cooler months

4 Ways to Keep Your Energy Levels Up in Cooler Months

One month into Autumn and the mornings are a little darker and some days, a touch cooler. Winter is on the way! As the cooler months develop we may start to notice our energy levels dropping and wanting to be on the sofa at night rather than out socialising is becoming more desirable.

This changing weather actually affects some of your body’s natural processes as well, so you’re not alone if your energy levels aren’t what they usually are when the weather is warmer. 

Here are 4 ways the changes in season and temperatures can affect our overall wellness and how we can support it to minimise the drop in energy levels over the next few months.

More Sleep

Naturally our bodies want more sleep in the cooler months. This is because there is less light and our natural sleep hormone production is decreased. Melatonin is the hormone which tells our body it’s time to get ready for sleep, during autumn and winter the body’s natural release of melatonin is suppressed due to the lack of natural light. 

Because nightfall is earlier in winter, and there is less light overall we genuinely feel more tired earlier in the day. It may mean that a few social obligations are put on the back burner to allow the body to rest, recover and recuperate instead of charging through the same as you did in summer. Next time you feel low on energy, give yourself permission to sleep a little longer. 

Up the Vitamin D

One in four Australians is deficient in Vitamin D and the recommended daily intake being 1000-2000IU. Vitamin D controls the DNA of your cells, it helps control belly fat, supports the immune system and fights off inflammation. It plays a role in the production of pancreatic enzymes and the absorption of calcium in the blood and bones. It is often thought that we absorb vitamin D from the sun through our skin, but actually that can only happen in summer during peak daylight hours of 10am and 3pm. This is because the UVB sun rays are only effective in penetrating the atmosphere and our skins thickest layer when the sun is at its highest strength.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition experienced in the cooler months due to lack of sun exposure is very real with symptoms including low mood, low energy, fatigue, brain fog and a decrease in motivation so as the season changes it’s important to supplement with Vitamin D through capsules but more importantly through whole food sources such as:

  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Egg Yolks
  • Salmon
  • Orange
  • Tofu

Here are some recipes for delicious ways to include vitamin D rich foods.

Griddled mackerel with a courgette and bean salad

Vegan Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Microwave-Steamed Eggs

Honey Miso Baked Salmon & Broccolini

Easy Tofu Stir Fry

Food is Important

We know we feel better when we’re fuelling up with a balanced diet and the essential vitamins and minerals we need to support the body’s natural processes. Prioritising nutrient dense foods and seasonal produce over package food and artificial flavours or additives. Try to include a wide variety and colours of fruit and vegetables as each one gives us different nutritional benefits. Add warming spices, herbs, garlic and ginger where possible as they all have medicinal benefits to boost the immune system. Slow cooked foods are best eaten during cooler months as our energy is lower and digestive system can be a little slower. Adding bone broth to your vegetables will give a great flavour but also contains healing compounds such as glutamine, collagen, proline, glycine and gelatin – all essential amino acids and trace minerals that work to line the gut. If you’re short on time you can purchase my favourite bone broth here

Movement

Keeping up your daily movement is so important even if it means going to class a little later in the day or moving your exercise indoors for a few months. Find a form of exercise that suits your goals and challenges the body without exhausting you. Yoga, walking, jogging, boxing, pilates or your 20 minute EMS workout will keep you moving, activate your muscles, improve flexibility and increase your cardiovascular health. Continuing your training through the cooler months means there’s no need for quick fix diets, summer body detoxes or setting unrealistic goals as the beach weather kicks in. 

For more tips and tricks to staying well check out our other blog posts here or chat to us in the studio next session! 

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