Constant colds, frigid temps, and mountains of snow can really affect your energy and immunity levels. Winter is also known to increase your cravings for high-calorie comfort foods, and sadly, that doesn’t translate well to the scale. But what can you do?
Fitness enthusiasts harp on how much fun winter sports like ice hockey, and skiing can be; but many don’t have the same level of enthusiasm, motivation, or income (those sports are pricey!). You’d prefer staying under covers on a cold weekend than heading out early in the a.m. to go ice skating. But hey! Before you give up on your will to embrace spring with a well toned body, we list out five simple and fun ways you can keep up your fitness drive — even during winter:
1. Set a Goal
Has that little black dress hanging in your wardrobe not seen the light of the day for as long as you can remember? What about those sexy jeans from your university days that don’t move beyond your hips? It’s time you make sure these wardrobe pieces don’t become stagnant in your dresser and make it a goal to get those items on by spring.
2. Plan and Record Your Results
Maintain a record of everything — from your target weight, to your weekly progress towards achieving it. The more streamlined you are towards your fitness approach, the more desirable the results are going to be. And don’t feel you have to do this alone, get friends on-board for help, or use a service like Rise.
3. Eat Your Way to Healthy
Not only is winter the season of gluttony, but it’s also the season you become susceptible to maximum infections. The best means to counter both these problems is following a healthy diet.
Include foods like leafy greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, lentils, oranges, pomegranate, aloe vera juice, nuts and seeds in your diet. These foods are rich in immune-boosting vitamin C, proteins, and other essential micronutrients.
You also must cut down on processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and refined carbohydrates, as they can impact your body’s natural immunity function while adding to your calorie intake.
4. Make Exercise Fun
Working out doesn’t always have to mean lifting heavy weights and running on a treadmill till the time your legs give up. You could always opt for more fun modes of exercising like dancing or Zumba. If you’re more the spiritual kind, yoga is the perfect choice for you. The benefits of yoga range from ensuring mental peace, aiding sleep, boosting immunity to keeping your weight in check.
Tip: The best way to keep up the momentum of your fitness regimen is to follow a workout plan that suits you, rather than following a plan that your friend swears by.
5. Keep It Moving
After a long day of sitting and working at your office desk, if you come home and plonk yourself on your bed, you’re depriving your body of required physical activity. Physical activity is not just important to help you achieve a fit and toned body, but it also helps boost your body’s defenses against infections. A study on post-menopausal women conducted by the American Journal of Medicine reported that moderate-intensity exercises reduce incidence of colds.
Here’s are a few ways to incorporate more movement into your day without trying too hard:
Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs instead. Take regular breaks in between your work, and walk to-and-fro. While watching television at home, don’t continue to sit lazily on the couch; try to fit in some medium intensity exercises like crunches or stretches in between the commercials.
While you follow these simple hacks to stay fit, you must also ensure that you keep yourself hydrated at all times, as dehydration can further pull you down during winter. You could also try walking lunges in the snow that provide greater benefit than regular lunges due to their increased intensity. If you’re a gym junkie, try to team up with a buddy as the both of your can motivate each other to keep the spirit alive.
Good luck on your quest for getting back in shape!