12 Ways to Boost Your Energy in Winter

By: Marie Parks

Scientifically Reviewed By: Michael A. Smith, MD


Cold air, snow, icy roads, gray skies…doesn’t this make you want to drive to the gym or go for a run outside? Probably not!

During the winter months, it can be more difficult to get yourself up and going when you’re snug underneath a blanket, warding off the elements.

This, combined with the onslaught of scrumptious holiday temptations, can be a recipe for weight gain and lethargy.

Not to fear, though. Here are 12 tips to boost your energy naturally and help keep your body from falling into a metabolic rut this winter.

Couple enjoying walking in the winter

1. Eat breakfast.

You might be tempted to stay curled up under the covers with only a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate, but make the effort to get out of bed and eat a good meal. A healthy, hearty breakfast helps you stay energized and focused throughout the day. People who don’t eat breakfast tend to be less active throughout the day than those who do.

2. Stay hydated.

Of course, water is necessary for all of life’s functions… in addition, staying hydrated is also important for protecting your muscle-building proteins from being broken down—and, instead, burning fat for energy.

Woman working out in winter

3. Exercise—at least a little.

Short bursts of intense exercise can rev your ability to burn more calories post-workout more than long, easy sessions. Also, muscle itself increases your metabolic rate, so add in some strength training, as well. Don't have access to a gym or weights? Try using canned soups, water or milk jugs, suitcases, bags of flour or sugar, socks…and even kids! Be creative.

4. Be smart about snacks.

Consuming healthy snacks, such as fresh fruits and nuts, makes it easier to say no to the cookies calling your name when you get hungry. Keep your portions moderate, though, to avoid overdoing your calorie intake.

5. Spice it up.

Adding some kick to your meals could improve your metabolic health, too. So, go ahead and add the chilis and sprinkle on the red pepper flakes!

Preparing lean proteins

6. Eat enough protein.

Replacing some of your fat or carbohydrate-rich meals or snacks with a higher-protein option can help support your muscles. As an added benefit, digesting protein may burn more calories than fat and carbohydrates. Opt for lean proteins like chicken, tuna, egg whites, etc.

7. Pop a probiotic.

Probiotics help support healthy energy production as well as those good bacteria in your gut. Research shows probiotics can also support your immune system and help you manage stress and elevate your mood, all important considerations during the winter holidays and beyond.

8. Get energy in vitamin form.

Energy comes from the foods we eat. That means you can boost your energy with the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as a vitamin B complex, which affects enzymes critical to healthy metabolic processes. And ingredients such as CoQ10, resveratrol and PQQ help fuel your body at the cellular level.

drinking coffee for energy

9. Reach for the roast.

Coffee has been shown to provide many health benefits when consumed in moderation. This is partially due to its caffeine content, which can help improve exercise performance, as well as equip you with the energy and focus you need to have an effective exercise session.

10. Keep it cold.

A small clinical study suggested that keeping your bedroom cooler while you sleep can increase your proportion of brown adipose tissue, a type of fat that functions more like muscle, helping to burn calories.

11. Get enough sleep.

Speaking of the bedroom, getting enough sleep is a great way to increase your energy level. Shorter sleep durations are also associated with unhealthy food choices and increased risk of overeating.

12. Keep smiling.

When you're stressed, you produce higher levels of the hormone cortisol—which could contribute to the overeating that is so common when you feel stressed out. Smiling can help keep stress levels lower for you and those around you!

It’s perfectly fine to have those lazy moments and enjoy cuddling up with a good book every once in a while, but implementing these energy and metabolism tips into your daily routine can help you avoid a winter slump.