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HOUSTON (CW39) It’s Weather Wellness Wednesday time! The cold weather makes you want to just stay inside sometimes, right? This negatively affects us and can lead to something called Seasonal Affective Disorder’. Meteorologist Lindsey Day is here to explain why you might be feeling more depressed and less energetic this season. 

“I love going outdoors it’s not always for exercise, you know, just getting that sun exposure … It just makes you feel better! I mean, you feel energized afterward!” explains local Houstonian, Pepe Monarrez. Pepe recently decided to embark on a journey to improve his health. He says a big part of his plan is to nurture the physical, mental, and social aspects of life that complete the health triangle.

“When you’re in a meeting in person, socializing, you almost forget about you’re working, it’s more about engaging and making sure you stay active with your friends , with your family and there is nothing better than human interaction.  You feel much better after,” adds Pepe.

Dr. Cheryl Winter, DCN, FMP, explains how the winter months take a toll on our health: “If we’re always cooped up inside because the weather is bad, we’re not getting and absorbing that vitamin D.”

Vitamin D behaves like a hormone in our body. A lack of it in the winter months leads to depression, poor bone health, higher risk for disease and so much more. “We also know that vitamin D along with progesterone hormone works synergistically to affect our T cell immunity. Think COVID, think viral and bacterial infection. Progesterone sadly is reduced because we’re always so stressed and the weather is stressing up as well because we’re cooped up inside. So if we don’t have enough progesterone, we’re not absorbing vitamin D.” explains Dr. Cheryl Winter. 

In the winter months our social activities and physical activities tend to decline. “Especially now with Covid, people are really scared to socialize another word for socializing, or social interaction, is bonding. You may have heard of the love hormone or the bonding hormone, oxytocin.  You may know it because of childbirth, it’s that connection between a mother and child, but we now know that oxytocin is released with social interaction, and with laughing! with petting our animals!,” adds Dr. Cheryl Winter.

Research shows increasing oxytocin levels may help diabetics and overweight individuals have better blood sugar control and lose weight!  “So oxytocin is just such an important hormone for us and our health. The best way to get it is with social interaction,” explains Dr. Cheryl Winter. Click here for more information from Dr. Cheryl Winter.