Jodie Bell, founder of Healthy Habit Dorset, talks about her favourite outdoor activities
With dark mornings and even darker evenings, dull weather and the cold reaching through to your bones it’s easy to feel low and unmotivated. A great way to combat these feelings, and give your body a much needed boost over the winter is to add some vitamin D to our routine. Vitamin D helps the body to produce serotonin, supporting skeletal strength and if supported by a varied diet of low sugar and dairy and lots of green veg, it can literally be a brain changer. The easiest way to boost your vitamin D intake is to get outside – cloud cover does reduce the amount of vitamin D that our bodies take in but some still gets through. Being outside in the fresh air is an important part of boosting your mood.
Walking – is low intensity and therefore great exercise for all abilities
Jogging or running – higher intensity than walking but offers a more intense calorie burn per minute
Cycling – there are lots of cycle paths available nowadays for those not comfortable with cycling on roads and it’s a great cardio exercise
Kayaking – it is warmer on the water than in the water! This is great for your upper body and gives a great core workout from the moment you get in the kayak
Paddle boarding – this is a total all over workout, although you can stay on your knees until you’re confident. You can mix in some yoga and fitness moves to increase the burn
Climbing – is great for strength conditioning and endurance. Climbing can give you a real adrenaline rush and make you feel alive. Always make sure you are safe and never climb where you are not supposed too!
Hiking – is a great stress reliever; being at one with nature can add extra calm and help put things in perspective whilst using those big muscles (glutes and thighs)
The best times to get outdoors, get some exercise and increase your vitamin D intake is first thing, or straight after work. These are the times when you’ll be the most motivated, it’s a great way to start the day and wake up, or to finish your working day and de-stress. When the weekends roll around, why not make social commitments that offer a change? Walk to the pub, take a backpack to the shop to get your weekend essentials or offer to walk a friend’s dog!