Keeping ourselves physically and mentally healthy can be more challenging in winter. It’s that time of year when most of us are starting to run out of puff. Work demands also seem to keep ramping up which can make prioritising a lunchtime run more difficult.

Here are some ideas that we find helpful. These are focused on our physical health. Next blog we’ll post some tips for maintaining your mental and emotional equilibrium when it’s cold and dark outside.

  1. Set yourself some specific health goals for the winter months. Make them big (Training for a summer marathon) or small (I’m going to walk for 20 minutes every day).
  2. Plan how you can turn these goals into regular habits. Repetition (do it often), reminders (prompts to action) and rewards all help strengthen habits.
  3. Recruit support. Let important people in your life know what you are trying to do and how they can encourage you. Better still buddy up on some of your goals.
  4. Prioritise good quality sleep – plan ahead on nights with no social engagements and get to bed at a reasonable time. Use relaxation exercises, baths, herbal teas and light reading to wind yourself down ready for a deep sleep.
  5. Eat well – choose the most nutritious foods you can as often as you can. Carry plenty of nutrient high, energy-enhancing snacks with you and stay away from the processed energy sapping choices.
  6. Move more – be as active as you can, as often as you can. Plan to meet friends for a walk, swim, jog or dance class. Ask colleagues to join you for fresh air breaks. Reward yourself for extra effort and aim to do something every day even if you don’t feel like it.
  7. Watch the caffeine and alcohol –it’s so easy to grab more of these when tiredness hits. Experiment with alternatives, maybe a yoghurt smoothie instead of another coffee, or a non-alcoholic cocktail rather than wine.
  8. When it’s light out – get out in the sunshine.

We are keen to hear your ideas.

Read Part 2