Staying fit in the winter can be a challenge. As we approach the winter solstice and the days shorten, we are likely to slip into a sedentary lifestyle of inactivity and overeating. Sometimes we are even affected by seasonal depression or Vitamin D deficiency. This is because we are less likely to be exposed to the sun. Many of us stay indoors when it is cold and the only time we spend in the sun is when we are going from the front door to the parking lot for our daily commute.
Also, we are busy with year-end reports, final exams (if studying), sporting events and holiday gatherings. Our health and fitness level often gets pushed to the back burner.
Tips for Maintaining Your Body
At the ranch, it can be the perfect time to focus on getting back into a regular work-out routine. The burst of cold air on your skin can be really refreshing, so don’t be afraid to get outside! Our clients bundle up and do a daily hike in the morning and it really helps to get everyone ready for the day.
In addition to staying active, my biggest tip to keep off the holiday pounds is to eat something healthy and filling before you go to any event. I know this is easier said than done – especially when we have been waiting all year for a slice of mom’s famous pumpkin pie. However, if you eat beforehand or even have a snack, it will help you keep your portions much smaller and maybe you will only be tempted by the slice of pumpkin pie instead of the 1,500 calorie meal and the pie. After all, life is all about balance in these situations.
Other ideas for staying active and healthy:
- Remember to drink plenty of water. Now is not the time to skimp on the water. Just because you aren’t sweating as much doesn’t mean you don’t need it. This will keep your skin elastic and will help it maintain moisture when you are constantly exposed to heated air. Plus, you won’t be as likely to eat when you are actually just thirsty.
- If you prefer to be active outdoors, try to go ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding! You might discover a newfound talent.
- Sign up for indoor group classes at your local gym or community center. Other members can encourage you and be just the motivation you need.
- Find a workout video that you can do at home. If you aren’t into group classes and you don’t want to fork out the money for a gym membership, there are tons of videos available online for free (think YouTube). Personally, I am a fan of P90X, Julia Michaels, Insanity, T25 and many others.
- While you are out shopping for the holidays, spend a little extra time browsing the aisles. This can take the place of your usual walk outdoors if you are sensitive to the cold.
- As always, remember to stock up on fresh produce. Depending on your climate, the quality of produce available to you may change drastically throughout the seasons, but it is still important for you to get your greens in!