Winter Hibernation- what Mother Nature intended!

Winter Hibernation- what Mother Nature intended!

Thursday, 09 June 2011 12:19

Do you ever get tired of trying to be a dynamic, high energy, high activity person all year round? Well the good news is, you not only don’t need to be, but it’s actually healthier if you don’t try to be. That’s right. You see, the ancient science of Ayurveda explains that just as there are daily ‘rejuvenation’ cycles (you can’t be dynamic during the day if you don’t get proper rest at night), there are also powerful ‘seasonal’ cycles of rest & activity.

While spring & summer is a time for more activity and dynamism, winter is the exact opposite – a time for more rest… a bit more ‘Hibernation’!!! Just as the rest of ‘Nature’ quietens down (hibernates) during Winter to prepare (re-balance) for the warmer months, we humans are designed to do the same though not necessarily to the same degree.


Understand what I call ‘natural motivation’. In Winter, you don’t ‘naturally’ feel inclined to go outside and exercise or socialise as much. Current convention though tells us we have to be tough, to be disciplined and do it anyway. Our ‘natural motivation’ is to stay inside more, eat more nourishing foods and get more rest/sleep. Not coincidentally, this is exactly what Nature wants us to do for maximum health.

This doesn’t mean be a couch potato, don’t exercise and eat casserole every day, but appreciate that winter is a time for greater rest & for being more ‘inward’. Don’t feel guilty or down about not being as ‘active’ as you are in spring.

* Notice how ‘naturally motivated you are to be more active in Spring!

For example try some of these SPECIFIC WINTER TIPS:

* These are all things you will ‘naturally’ feel like doing anyway, however it’s amazing how we get conditioned to thinking we shouldn’t – unless something is difficult it’s not good for us.

– entertain at home rather than go out to a restaurant
– exercise indoors/go to the gym rather than run outside in the cold.
– If you feel like giving exercise the flick occasionally & just sitting in front of the fire…DO IT.
– If your natural inclination is to go to bed earlier &/or sleep in a bit later…DO IT
– eat warm/hot, cooked foods
– eat more if needed
*If your activity level is the same, your appetite will be stronger in winter (as more fuel is needed to keep your body warm). generally favour more rest – get to bed earlier etc.

* Final Note for ‘Winter Weight Watchers’!

If you are worried about putting on extra weight over winter – eating more, exercising less etc – Don’t worry, it’s actually part of the natural cycle (and that’s what baggy jumpers are for!). Seriously, it’s actually quite normal/natural to put on a bit of weight in winter and lose it come Spring. As is often the case, it’s only our overly image conscious’ society that puts pressure on us to stay slim year round.

Ayurvedic medicine explains that our body’s are not machines that function the same year round – so as always for optimal health, live in tune with nature’s cycle first, worry about your weight second.

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.