Sunshine, exercise help battle winter blues

Experts say exercise, even in the brutal cold, can help fend of the winter blues.

Despite suffering through the coldest winter in decades, therapists say all the snow is actually helping us, at least emotionally.

As snow removal efforts continue outside Indianapolis International Airport, passengers inside the terminal are trying to fly far, far away to a nice, warm destination.

"We're flying to Ft. Myers and then going to Naples, Florida to visit friends for about a week," said Jim Robertson of Kentland.

"Won't it be nice not to wear a winter coat and@ boots and gloves and scarves...yeah.@ It'll be great," explained his wife Marlene.@

While that's great for the travelers, the rest of us will have to bundle up and deal with it.

"It stinks, but spring's gonna be here soon. That's right. I'm about over it," said two women walking along the downtown canal.

"I have to admit, the snow is pretty beautiful, it's kind of a glorious picture this time of year. It can make it a real challenge to get out when it's sub-zero, that's for sure," said State Sen. John Broden (D-South Bend).

Broden makes a habit of walking 2-3 miles on the canal during his lunch hour. Exercise, experts say, is a great way to beat the winter blues. The recent sunshine is a great benefit, too.

"It doesn't take a lot of time out in the brightness to get some benefit from that," said Eskenazi Health's Julie Szempruch.

Even letting the sun shine inside through a window can be helpful. Szempruch also gives some credit to all the snow we've had.

"One thing that has been good about this winter is the brightness that the snow has brought," she said. "It has an emotional component to it of brightness versus darkness."

But the best way to beat the blues may be to take off.

"Gives us a chance to get away from the cabin fever and just to enjoy some sunshine instead of snowblowers for a change," said Jim Robertson. "Warm sun, 82 degrees, not Indiana weather!"

The average temperature in Indianapolis this time of year is 39 degrees. It hasn't been that balmy in nearly two weeks.