Story contact: Emily Martin, MU News Bureau; Sources: University of Missouri Extension specialists
Frigid weather may seem like a good excuse to avoid workouts, stay inside and overindulge in comfort foods. However, health experts from the University of Missouri Extension have found that these tendencies leave most people feeling less content during the winter months. MU researchers say people should establish new traditions to increase happiness and avoid wintertime woes.
Incorporate activities and habits that promote health and can be shared with spouses, friends and family members each year. The experts suggest trying a variety of ideas.
“When thinking about New Year’s changes, a good first step is creating a vision for the future by picturing yourself happy and healthy,” said Karen Sherbondy, MU Extension special projects coordinator for Family Nutrition Education Programs. “Identify positive and negative aspects of your health and the health of others, including friends, family members, spouses and children. This provides a starting point for establishing new behaviors, avoiding negative habits and seeking help from others.”
“Regarding exercise and physical activity in the winter, some is better than none, more is better than some and too much is difficult to get,” said Steve Ball, state fitness specialist and associate professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “Establish traditions to accommodate cold weather. Try new things… Think of things that are enjoyable – spending time with kids, crafts and watching movies – and incorporate physical activity to enhance them,” Ball said…
For more great ideas on ways to increase physical activity, improve mood, develop healthier eating habits and encourage better overall health for you and your family this winter, read the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/