From Jazzercise, Inc.
(CARLSBAD, CA) When late autumn arrives and winter closes in, Seasonal Affective Disorder strikes up to 20 percent of Americans, leaving them with a heavy dose of the winter blues. Also known as SAD, this condition is accompanied by varying degrees of depression, a lack of energy, increased appetite and a diminished sex drive. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from SAD, especially those in the 20 to 40 age range.
Light therapy, which appears to stimulate production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, is the most common treatment for SAD, but more severe cases are often treated with anti-depressants as well. Recent research indicates that changes in diet and exercise can help as well. SAD patients typically crave carbohydrates, which provide a temporary boost in serotonin levels. But experts recommend eating proteins throughout the day instead.
"Exercise, especially when done outdoors during daylight hours, will also boost serotonin and can do much to alleviate the mild depression and lethargy that accompanies SAD," states Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise. "If you love to dance, consider drawing open the curtains, turning on some up tempo music and incorporating the following step with some of your favorite dance moves."
Stand with your feet fairly wide apart and your toes slightly turned out. Lunge from side to side, using your legs to push your body and shift your weight. Make sure your knees bend over your shoelaces, and do not roll forward or bend beyond your toes. Add some style by sliding your ribs side to side and adding a little elbow pull as you lunge.
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