If you’re struggling to maintain any kind of workout routine right now, we promise you’re not alone. Dragging yourself to the gym or bundling up for an outdoor run can feel downright impossible during the dark, cold months of winter. And on top of the 4 p.m. sunsets and frigid real feels, many people are also suffering from seasonal affective disorder, an energy-zapping, fatigue-inducing mood disorder that can cause depression and anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it affects 5 percent of adults in the U.S. every year.
Of course, one of the best ways to combat SAD is with—you guessed it—exercise. (Oh, the irony.) In addition to elevating your mood with the release of happy hormones like endorphins and serotonin, exercise can also help improve sleep, increase energy and reduce stress. So, lacing up and getting out there, especially during the colder months, is pivotal to maintaining our health year-round.