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Posted on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

Tips to beat the winter blues

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

Well, it has come! Our first Michigan snow of the season! Many Michiganders feel excited about the snow, while others start to get the winter blues. In order to beat those winter blues follow the tips below.

Eat seasonal fruit and veggies. Try choosing the brightest fruits and veggies. Fresh produce improves skin, gives you more energy and helps to build up your immune system. Some good suggestions include; squash, kale, sweet potatoes and grapefruit.

Make sure you are staying hydrated. Especially during the winter, dry rooms and extra heat will cause you to lose more water. Chapped lips and thirst are indicators that you are already dehydrated. Some ways to stay hydrated include drinking a glass of water during each meal and carrying a water bottle around throughout the day.

Modify your workout for indoors. Do squats, lunges, planks and pushups in your own home! Try a new fitness routine with a fitness video. You don’t have to brave the cold if you don’t want to; just alter that cardio to indoor exercises. Plus you'll love those fitness endorphins that improve your mood.

Relax! Try out yoga, mental exercises, and meditation or start a new book. Take time to treat yourself. Plan an exciting weekend trip, a day at the spa or a fun night out to a sporting event or play. Make sure to re-energize with naps, and make sure to get enough sleep.

Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of some of the great winter sports. Try out a new sport you have never tried before! Skiing, skating, and sledding are all great ways to enjoy the winter snow and are a great source of exercise. Plus it is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the fresh air.

Use some of these tips to keep those spirits high during the dark days of winter. All these tips combined can brighten one's mood by simply changing out of a daily routine. Use this winter to try new things, enjoy the beautiful season and beat the blues!

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD, CSSD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor. She is also a part-time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and can be reached at