Sunday, 12. January 2014

The February Winter Blues Are Over!

After February 2nd, it is officially time to put away your Christmas decorations and winter blues. In with the daylight! Starting around February 2nd, we are finally free of the winter darkness and start leaning towards summer days!

Depending on at which European latitude we live, the short winter days are already letting up! The shortest day of the year  is on December 21st. By now we are already up to one and a half more hours of daylight between sunrise and sunset as before. The difference in Vienna is now at 1 hour and 13 minutes in Vienna, which does the body, mind and soul good! More daylight definitely raises our spirits.

It is a fact that the body needs sunlight, otherwise it can not produce the vitamin D that is essential to our bodily functions. Without vitamin D we are exposed to illnesses like osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and even cancer.Therefore, it is recommended that we supplement our vitamin D supply in winter.

When the day is getting longer, we enjoy the feeling of having more time. Especially in the morning, the light makes it possible to go running without a headlamp before work, which is way less stressful! Even if we have just half an hour more of light, this extra time is sufficient to ensure that our metabolism picks up, strengthening our muscles releasing more of our happiness hormones.

Even the brain runs better. We can concentrate better, solve problems more easily, are more creative and can allegedly even think more logically. In the sunlight you can come up with new ideas and thoughts and see things from a new perspective. Hence, running in the sunshine before work makes you smarter!

Running in daylight also does the soul good, even if half an hour usually isn't enough to achieve a runner's high. Running not only affects the body and mind, but has a positive effect on mental well-being The more proficient you are, the easier it is to turn off while running and let your mind wander and soak up the happiness and good mood for the whole day. The natural "oxygen shower" you receive while running has amazing effects on your body. Thus, the winter blues don't have a chance! After Candlemas on February 2nd, we are in the clear!

* Candlemas is a Catholic festival with Jewish roots, which is celebrated on February 2nd.  Traditionally during this ceremony a priest blesses the candles to be used during the storm. The name Candlemas refers to the candles that are blessed, which are placed in windows during storms.