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“It’s important to keep your mood up because it can help you avoid everything from gaining extra pounds to feeling lethargic.”

Try these techniques to stay sunny all winter long — no trip to the Bahamas required!

Health.com: 7 signs of seasonal affective disorder

Step #1: Winterize your workout

It can be tough to muster the motivation to make it to the gym when the temperature is below zero. But “exercise can boost your mood, and you need that lift even more during the winter,” says Patricia Laguna, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton.

If you have S.A.D., you’re hibernating

Laguna suggests that you give yourself some incentive. Jot down an exercise schedule at the beginning of the week, varying the type of sweat fest to keep it interesting; then reward yourself with a small treat, like a mani-pedi, when you stick to it.

And consider braving the elements: Research shows that exercising outside can lift your spirits, but if the weather won’t cooperate, keep a go-to exercise DVD on hand.

Step #2: Eat your way upbeat

Try to resist the call of fatty, sugary comfort fare. Highly refined carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which can leave you feeling cranky, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of “Eat Your Way to Happiness.”

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Health.com: Winter-proof your run

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