FEELING GREAT: Avoid a double dose of winter blues

Let’s talk about the dark nights.

They’re coming in fast and chances are you’ve commented on it yourself and they’re already beginning to change your daily routines.

Apart from a lack of vitamin D, the stuff that goes round your body when you’re in the sun that makes you feel great, the darkness also changes your exercises habits.

So, if you’re not careful, you will suffer a double whammy of a lack of both vitamin D and the endorphins that your body produces when you’re active.

Did you know that visitor’s to my physio clinic with lower back stiffness increases by about 30 per cent between now and next spring? Why? I’ll explain.

This summer you likely stumbled across a new love of being active, whether walking, cycling or jogging along the sea front with friends.

But chances are now that you’re already beginning to take one look out of the window and shy away from that walk or that cycle you were taking only weeks ago. And what it means is that you’re going to end up spending much more time in doors and crucially, sitting.

Sitting in your car or on the bus, sitting at work, sitting on the way home from work and now because the weathers not quite as you fancy, six months of sitting on the couch for staring at a box on the wall. If you’re not careful that is.

So what’s the solution? The exercise routine shouldn’t change the walk or cycle or jog. The where you do it, sea front or park, doesn’t need to change and even the why you do it, to feel great and keep healthy, shouldn’t either.

The only thing that needs to change is the how. And that means investing in the right clothing or equipment.

When it comes to the weather and the climate, I’m a big believer that the only difference between a good day and bad day is the clothing you’re wearing.

Now might be a good time to start thinking about what it is that you’re going to need to invest in, if you want to keep up some form of outdoor fitness.

There’s actually lots of research into this that suggests that treating your self to the right clothing or equipment will make exercising more pleasant and you more likely to sustain it.

Before you start your Christmas spend, it might be a good idea to splurge a bit of cash on warmer exercise clothing or reflective equipment to make exercising much more likely happen as well as safer.

Next week I’ll write about ways to use simple bits of technology to work out exactly how much energy you’re using or calories you’re burning.

And one thing to remember about your health. You need to work at it constantly.

And feeling great isn’t something that you can stock pile and store for a wet and rainy day. You’re going to need to work it constantly over the next few dark months if you want to feel as good as you do now.