Forget the cold, dark weather: 6 ways to boost your energy this winter

Posted by Sandra Scott

The cold winter months sap your energy like no other season!

And while your instincts might be to snuggle up under a duvet and hibernate until spring, you can use this time to recharge your batteries and plan reinvention instead.

Keep reading for 6 ways to keep your energy levels up, and your motivation high, and take advantage of this time to initiate new projects.

Handsome sporty black man running in the snow

The temperature drops, the days get shorter and the amount of natural light available becomes scarce. All of this can have a negative impact on your morale, your mood, and your energy levels.

It’s hard to stay motivated when it's so cold and dark outside.

And it’s not just your energy levels that suffer…

Winter affects the way you look too 

Cold weather and dry air, coupled with indoor heating, dehydrates your skin, leaving it feeling dry and rough during winter. As a man, this dryness makes your face more sensitive when you shave, and more prone to premature ageing too.

Time of reinvention 

Everything naturally slows down in winter.

But if you can keep your morale high you can take advantage of this period to refresh and rebuild, plan your year and start future projects.

Times like this are perfect for recharging your batteries and reinvention.

Your winter routine to keep energy levels high 

Follow this guide to avoid sinking into gloom, keep your energy levels high and stay looking your best.

#1 Get exposed to light as soon as possible in the morning 

It’s scientifically proven that the lack of natural light in winter affects your mood. From a simple case of "winter blues", to full on SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder the shorter, darker days affect all of us to some extent.

When the light is low outside it disrupts your body's internal clock and leads to feelings of depression and a lack of energy. It’s a bit like your brain has decided that it’s not worth going out or moving around and has decided to slow down and hibernate instead.

The solution? Try to get exposure to as much morning light as possible as soon as you wake up. It signals to your brain that it’s time to get moving.

Immediately open the curtains to let the natural light in. And eat you breakfast close to a window to take advantage of any sunlight outside.

And if you’re working from home, the same principle works. Try to position your desk close to a window. You can also place two lamps on each side of your work area.

The more light there is, the more energy you will feel.

winter sunlight flooding in through bathroom window

#2 Eat a healthy breakfast 

The challenge during the first meal of the day is to avoid eating too many fast-acting sugars and carbohydrates - such as a toast-jam combo, washed down with sugary coffee or sweet tea. Sugars provide quick energy, but it only lasts for about 30 minutes and then cause a huge dip into fatigue afterwards.

Better to opt ​​for a breakfast of “complex” carbohydrates which will provide energy all morning.

That could be:

  • a yoghurt with added fruits like blueberries and redcurrants, followed by a slice of wholemeal toast
  • a bowl of oatmeal porridge, with sliced banana and some dried fruits and nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)
  • Chia seeds soaked overnight in almond milk, with maple syrup and cinnamon added, followed by an apple

We’ve got more examples to try here – “ EAT HEALTHIER, LOOK YOUNGER : an A-Z of the 27 best anti aging superfoods".

 

#3 Continue to work out 

When the outside temperature drops a couple of degrees, it can be hard to keep up with your regular exercise routine. Whether that’s running or cycling outdoors, or an abs session at home, everything becomes a struggle when it’s cold and dark outside.

But you need to keep this up.

Sporting activity releases endorphins, the hormones that give you a feeling of well-being. And by practicing it in the morning it increases your body temperature and sends signals to your brain to wake it up.

In practice, try getting your body moving first thing with a few quick yoga exercises (like sun salutations) to boost and stretch your body when you wake up.

And discipline yourself to keep up with a regular workout combination of strength exercises and cardio. It will make you feel better, look better, and keep your energy high.

 

# 4 Up your intake of Vitamin D and Omega-3’s

Vitamin D is vital to strengthen your immune system, as well as helping to keep you in shape.

Only a part of the amount we need is present in the body and activated by the sun's rays, so the rest you need to get from your diet, especially when there’s not much sunshine around.  

Good sources are oily fish (like salmon, sardines or mackerel), red meat, egg yolks, fortified milk and fortified orange juice.

Another advantage of including oily fish is that they are rich in Omega-3’s.

Omega-3s, the "essential fatty acids", help with the exchange of serotonin (the ‘happiness’ hormone) between neurons in your brain and so improve your morale and stabilize your mood.

Good to know: oily fish is a rich source of both Vitamin D and Omega-3’s so try to eat this often during the winter. Vegetable oils (rapeseed, hazelnut and flax) are also excellent sources. 

 

# 5 Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – and dark chocolate! 

We admit fresh fruit and vegetables maybe aren’t so appealing when the cold weather sets in, but they are packed with the vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs to get it through the winter.

In fact, they should make up about half of what you eat every day.

So add plenty of veggies to stews and stir fry, make into hearty soups and combine with fruit in healthy smoothies.

They are mines of energizing, anti-fatigue Vitamin C, which also strengthens your immune system, and Vitamin B, which is excellent for mood and energy, as well as improving your skin and hair. Another benefit is their magnesium content. This mineral relaxes and helps you to manage anxiety and assists the body to absorb Vitamin D more effectively.

Adding two squares of dark chocolate to your daily intake will improve your mood too. Dark chocolate (with a minimum of 75% cocoa content) contains tryptophan, an amino acid which is transformed into serotonin, the hormone of happiness. 

 Dark chocolate on pale blue background

 

#6 Get outside as much as you can 

The invigorating effect of a burst of fresh, outside air will get you moving and make you feel more energetic.

Even if it’s only for ten minutes, being outside, attuning your body with nature, will optimize your energy and improve your morale.

So wrap up warm and …..run, walk, bike…

 

handsome young bearded man wearing fur lined parka walking in winter season forest

And finally..

How to take care of your skin in winter … and why you need to 

Winter conditions are particularly tough on your face! You may experience redness, sensitivity, irritation and dry, flaky skin. 

The main reasons your skin behaves this way…

  • Over-heated dry air inside - Indoor heating and cosy fireplaces all reduce the humidity indoors and dry your skin out even further.

So take steps to keep your skin super hydrated in winter.

Gentle, hydrating skincare is what's required.

  • Keep your face clean, but make sure not to over dry your skin by using a face wash which includes hydrating Glycerin.
  • Exfoliate away dry, dead skin cells to instantly improve dull, winter skin and allow for better absorption of your moisturizer.
Our Daily Face Wash does both – gently cleans and exfoliates - in one simple step.
  • Use a nourishing shaving cream to protect cold, sensitive skin when you shave. May we suggest our Protective Shave Cream which is rich in Shea Butter and Aloe Vera. It’s guaranteed to give you an easy, close, comfortable shave and leave your skin looking smooth, hydrated and clear.
  • Moisturize… a lot! Our Hydrating Daily Moisturiser absorbs instantly to keep your skin deeply hydrated all day long – but with no greasiness. It also reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. What’s not to love?
  • Always use sunscreen – even on dull, cloudy days UV rays are present and potentially damaging your skin!
  • Remember to keep hands and lips well hydrated too.
We've got more here "Your Winter Skin Care Guide".

     OTIS SKINCARE three prestige skincare products for men on marble surface in bathroom

    The Takeaway 

    With the cold, dark days and the current anxiety-provoking situation, it’s hard to feel energetic. The low light levels have a negative impact on mood, morale and motivation.

    But you can do a lot to overcome this. Just stick to the following plan

    #1 Get exposed to light as soon as possible in the morning
    #2 Eat a healthy breakfast of complex carbohydrates and protein
    #3 Continue to work out
    # 4 Up your intake of Vitamin D and Omega-3’s
    # 5 Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – and dark chocolate!
    #6 Get outside as much as you can

     

    And take care of your skin by using gentle, hydrating skincare.

     All that you need to keep looking handsome. 

    SHOP THE ROUTINE.

    PRESTIGE SKINCARE. MADE IN FRANCE.

    FRENCH FLAG - BLEU, BLANC, ROUGE

     

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