Brighten Up Those Gloomy Days

>> Tuesday, February 9, 2010

With winter being in full swing, especially the frosty Calgary weather we've been getting, our Vitamin D levels are often at an all time low. As the days remain dark before and after work, we're hard pressed not to feel a little down. Although summer is still a good couple of months away, there are still many things we can do to brighten up our days!

1) Exercise
Of course everybody is aware that exercising is a good way to feel energized and stay awake. This response is due to the endorphins that are released by our brains after exercising. What are endorphins and why does it make us feel more alert? Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland of the hypothalamus. During exercise, our bodies trigger the hypothalamus to release endorphins which work as natural pain killers and allows us to push pass the pain and enjoy a rush of energy and euphoria.

2) Vitamin D
As mentioned earlier, due to the lack of sun during the winter, people often exhibit SAD, what specialists call "Seasonal Affective Disorder". This disorder causes people to experience depression like symptoms during winter months. Doctor's often tell patients to up their level of Vitamin D during these months because they're not getting the same amount of sunlight as summer months. Always be careful when taking pills, always talk to your doctor first.

3) Eat!
Of course I couldn't leave out food in my blog! Believe it or not, but eating certain foods have shown to decrease a person's moodiness and depressive symptoms.

For example, fish, especially salmon and other types of fatty fish have been shown to prevent depression because of the amount of omega-3 fatty acids it contains.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate has been shown to trigger the brain to release serotonin, putting the body in a happy equilibrium. A little chocolate does go a long way!

Source(s): Men's Health (of course this works for women too!)

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