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3 ways moving will brighten your January

After all the hubbub and fun of the Christmas season, we all know that January can be a tricky month to get through. The days are long and oh so cold, the next bank holiday isn’t until the end of March and really, the warmth and colour of Spring just feels a million miles away.

If you find yourself feeling a bit meh this month, getting moving is a great way to pull yourself out of that slump and put a smile on your face. Here are three ways you can use movement to brighten your January. 

1. Give your mood a boost

It’s no secret that physical activity plays an important role in our mental wellbeing. The link has been touted for years, and many studies have gone on to evidence the link between exercise and mental health. This link has been attributed to the release of endorphins which are meant to make people feel euphoric. However, endorphins aren’t the only brain chemicals at play. Exercising has been said to also help us produce more serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that play an important part in our moods. Low levels of these brain chemicals have been connected to depression. So if want to give your mood a boost why not go for a run or head to the gym? Chances are you’ll be feeling a boost in no time.

2. Get more time outside

Getting outside during the winter months is something many of us like to avoid. After all, it’s cold. The truth is that it’s much easier to stay warm and cosy inside, admiring the outdoors through the window. But it’s also not great for us. Remember how we talked about serotonin before? Well it turns out that our serotonin levels can be impacted by the amount of Vitamin D in our bodies, and the best way to get Vitamin D – sunlight!

So now we have a conundrum – we need to get outside to get Vitamin D, but outside is cold! So what to do? Get moving! If you head outside on a run or for a bike ride, your body will be working hard and keeping you warm, so you don’t feel that cold so much. Even a brisk walk on your lunch hour could work!

3. Have fun with friends

Spending time with friends and family is a great way to improve your spirits. Of course getting out and about in January isn’t always the easiest. For many of us Christmas was an expensive endeavour and our bank accounts aren’t quite recovered enough to spend a night out with friends. But trips to the cinema or pub aren’t the only way to get in some positive social interaction. If you already have a gym membership, why not find a friend to head over to the treadmills with or take a Zumba class? If you don’t have a membership, then why not go for a jog or walk with a buddy? If you’re a runner it’s a great idea for two reasons – 1) you’ll get to spend time with your friend which might perk up your day, and 2) if you like to run/walk/jog at night, you won’t have to run alone in the dark!

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