As the temperature drops and daylight hours decrease, it’s the time of year when healthy eating and exercise can take a back seat to comfort food and staying at home on the couch.

Did you know exercise could actually help you beat those winter blues? By doing just 10 minutes of exercise your brain is stimulated to release the ‘feel-good’ chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help reduce anxiety and depression. Staying active can also help arthritis sufferers whose symptoms often worsen over winter.

Here are some tips to help you keep active and some healthy, lighter meal options that will still give you that warm and cosy feeling we crave in cold weather.

I. Find new ways to exercise indoors: Don’t use the excuse of it being cold outside to stop exercising. Clear a space in a spare room or your lounge room and run through a yoga session. Or try our five chair exercises we shared in our first article this month.
II. Cook with herbs and spices: Garlic, ginger, coriander and basil are perfect ingredients to add flavour to your dishes. Not only do they make food taste amazing, but they’re also shown to help improve immune function.
III. Make your own soups: Homemade soups are the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. Making your own soup ensures you can control the sugar and salt levels which are often much too high in store bought soups. Take some time on the weekend to make up a big batch you can use for lunches during the work-week.

Need some more inspiration for warming food options and exercise options during winter? Lifestyle – Hopewood’s recipe for wellbeing book is your perfect companion during the colder months. It will help keep you on track this winter. With over 100 mouth-wateringly delicious vegetarian recipes designed to inspire you to eat, move, heal and nurture your body naturally. (Link to shop)

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