MONDAY January 21 is considered to be the most depressing day of 2013, commonly known as Blue Monday.
However health bosses at Yorkshire and the Humber are urging people to beat the January blues by getting active.
After the excitement of Christmas and New Year, the long nights and lack of daylight in January can leave us feeling tired, sluggish and down in the dumps.
But a key weapon against the winter slump is physical exercise, which is known to lift the mood and make us happy as it increases the levels of feel-good endorphins in the body.
Andrew Clark, Acting Regional Director of Public Health for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
“Exercise is a great way of boosting your mood during the dark winter months. Physical exercise has been proven to combat depression, and when it comes to getting active, it really is true that every little helps.
“Ideally people should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week, but you don’t have to do it all in one go. Short bursts of activity throughout the day still count, and all add up to the total amount.
“It’s easier than you think to get some exercise. You could try building it into your daily routine by walking part of the way to work, or getting down to some early spring cleaning. Anything that gets your heart rate up counts.”
As well as boosting your mood, exercise can also reduce stress, build up your immune system, increase your metabolism, help you lose weight and improve your energy levels.
For the activity to count towards your 30 minutes, it should make you feel warm and slightly out of breath.
Tips to getting active everyday
Take things slowly: gentle exercise like gardening is a good place to start
Try taking a walk at lunchtime
Low-impact exercise is great for pregnant women, the elderly, overweight or those prone to joint problems like arthritis. Try yoga, stretching and Pilates.
Cycle or walk part, if not all, of your journey to work. Get off the bus one stop before your final destination
Housework is a good workout. The most demanding activities include vacuuming, mopping, changing the bed linen, cleaning the windows, and scrubbing the bath and oven
Take the kids to the park or swimming pool – and make sure you join in
Get a pedometer to measure the number of steps you take each day, and try to increase this amount steadily.
The Change4life website has lots of ideas on how you can make exercise more enjoyable through their ‘fun generator’, which includes hundreds of activities for both indoors and outdoors.
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Weather for Selby
Thursday 05 December 2013
Temperature: -1 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 41 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: -1 C to 3 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west