We all have our favorite fall and winter pastimes, whether it’s curling up with a cup of hot chocolate or taking walks in cooler weather and enjoying the changing leaves. But could these activities that make you feel good actually be good for your health, too? There is research that points to yes. Read on to learn more about how you can get healthier – mentally and physically – by enjoying the things you already love about this season.
- Sipping hot chocolate. Many studies have shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health. And if you pick a lower-calorie version of this sweet treat and don’t overdo it, it can be a reasonable indulgence.
- Ice skating. There are several ice skating rinks in Atlanta this winter season, so take the opportunity to get some quality exercise. Ice skating is low-impact (if you skip the jumps) and helps strengthen lower-body muscles.
- Exercising outdoors. Being active in colder weather can boost your immunity and help you beat the winter blues, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here in Atlanta, it can be dangerous to exercise vigorously outdoors during hot summer months, so cooler temperatures can make for a safer workout. Just be sure to follow these cold weather fitness tips to stay safe.
- Spending more time with family and friends. Socializing has many positive benefits – it can boost your mood and immunity, and reduce stress, studies show. Spending time with positive people who share your health and life goals, and who are positive, is a major predictor of how happy you will be. So this holiday season, surround yourself with people you love and who lift your spirits.
- Eating holiday super foods. Hot soup, butternut squash, grapefruit, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon and even pumpkin have health benefits. Even better – these foods are often staples in holiday meals. Just be sure to keep portion sizes reasonable during large holiday meals.