Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, “A review of studies stretching back to 1981 concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression. It also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.” Any activity – walking, doing the Zumba Fitness Dance Party DVD in your living room or playing Wii with your kids – can help alleviate symptoms, but exercising outside for 20 minutes at least three times a week in the fresh air and daylight is ideal. Try adding these ideas to your snow day today:
- Act like a kid again and go sledding. Enjoy the remaining mounds of snow and burn up to 300 calories an hour frolicking with your kids.
- Build a snowman with your family.
- Bundle up and go for a winter walk. Whether taking a brisk walk around the block with your dogs, taking a stroll to admire the winter wonderland of the woods with your family or taking a reflective hike, getting outside for 20 minutes will elevate your mood.
- Need a commercial break? When TV ads rotate between your favorite shows today, run outside and make a snow angel.
- Instead of eating lunch at your desk, spend a few minutes making your own athletic memory at an outdoor ice rink. There are numerous outdoor ice rinks that offer one hour lunchtime skates. Bring a change of clothes, take a few laps around the rink and grab a salad with salmon, legumes and walnuts on your way back to the office. (Foods rich in Omega 3’s have been shown to moderate hormone levels and help keep moods consistent. So, load up on “fatty” fishes, edamame, enriched eggs and wild rices!)