Battling the winter blahs

Posted on February 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

By Susan Goertz

As we face another month of chilly winter weather, I find it a challenge to get myself outside. I am a nature lover and a fairly active person, but you will rarely see me in the gym. I want to exercise under open skies while gentle breezes drift over my skin. Which is why hiking and yoga are my preferred ways to exercise. Skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, sledding and the like are all amazing winter activities, but they require extra equipment that costs money.

Winter walks through snow-blanketed trails, the sun sparkling off frost crusted tree branches—it can be winter wonderland in the Inland Northwest, until it melts and refreezes a couple of times. And it is cold out there! Layering up to stay warm only works to a certain point. I can’t really do my yoga routine in a snowsuit—I’ve tried.

So what can we do to stay active until the spring thaw?! How do we avoid becoming a human ice cube? Here are a few tricks that help me get through the cold:

Aromatherapy for Life EmpowermentAromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a great way to get you mentally energized and in the mood to head out into winter weather. Aromatherapy for Life Empowerment by David Schiller is a great introduction if this is your first exploration of essential oils. The book includes tips on everything from improving sleep to how to make your kitchen smell like cookie heaven–even when you don’t have the energy to stir up the dough!

My personal favorite aromatherapy trick is to toss some orange peel and cinnamon into a pot of boiling water. Turn the heat down to simmer and let the spicy scent waft your way. My sinuses feel better already!

Yoga CuresYoga

Resting on your laurels all winter can make it hard to get moving in the spring, which will be here before you know it. Try a new indoor workout! On the days when rolling out of a warm bed onto a cold floor are a challenge, yoga is my go-to exercise. Yoga Cures by Tara Stiles is a personal favorite for when the winter weather makes my muscles knot up. She always seems to have the magic yoga pose that gets winter soreness loose.

When I want a quick warm up, I really enjoy Sara Ivanhoe’s Taste: 10 Short Yoga Sequences. She has me feeling toasty from the inside in no time. Looking for something a bit less intense? Katy Bowman’s “Aligned and Well” DVD series focuses on body biomechanics, helping your body gently realign. With yoga, you can fight the freeze and maximize your body’s full range of motion.

The Food Lover's CleanseCleanse

If you are stretched out and perfumed up, it may be time to warm yourself up from the tummy outward. Winter is a great time to try that cleanse diet you’ve been contemplating, or get a jump start on your New Year’s diet resolutions. The Food Lover’s Cleanse by Sara Dickerman is packed with delicious Bon Appetit recipes. And there is so much more than soup (although I do love me a good potato leek soup). With recipes divided by the seasons, your shopping trips will be a breeze.

These are the ways I get that warm fuzzy feeling inside during the cold months. You, too, can get nice and limber, get the blood flowing, layer up, and brave that cold! Until the sun returns, may the warmth be with you.


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