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To fight winter doldrums: Build a high-energy life

Updated: Feb 7



Don't let winter take the zip out of you. It can happen when the weather's bad, you get away from your fitness routine, and there's not much light from the sun. Try these easy ways to get newly invigorated:

1. Eat breakfast. Your body needs food for energy. Include a little protein and some carbohydrates. Skipping breakfast can bring on a late-morning slump.

2. Eat for energy. Several small meals throughout the day keep blood sugar levels steady and increase energy, according to the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas. Eat protein and carbohydrates at every meal.

3. Get the right amount of sleep. Lack of rest reduces your ability to concentrate and be creative. You know how much sleep is best for you, so be sure to get it.

4. Let the light shine in. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is caused by reduced sunlight in winter. It can make you tired, listless ... and hungry. So open the drapes, go outside at lunch or sit by a sunny window, but get your share of natural light.

5. Get moving. Exercise increases levels of feel-good chemicals called endorphins, say experts writing in Men's Fitness. Aerobic exercise is best because it makes your cardiovascular system stronger. You'll have more strength and energy for whatever you want to do.

6. Breathe. Stress and poor posture can cause you to breathe shallowly instead of inhaling deeply from the diaphragm. Practice breathing slowly and deeply for relaxation and mental alertness.

7. Spice up your life. Try something interesting, like a hobby, a date, a meeting with old friends. Variety makes you brighter.

8. Have some fun. Remember the things you like and the people who make you laugh. Laughter is good for the heart and soul.

9. Watch less TV. Plan to do something else in the evening, something you can do even if you're tired. Read a book, go visiting, work on a hobby. Watch only things you like on TV.

10. Get a checkup. If you really are exhausted or depressed, your doctor can help. Don't just suffer because there could be a simple test that tells you why you're feeling that way and how the problem can be corrected.

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