Ever wonder why we all gain weight over the winter? Sure, some of the blame can fall on the trifecta of indulgent holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s – but that’s not the only reason. Sometimes the weather is to blame. After all, who wants to go out when it’s dark at 4 p.m. and freezing outside? Instead of letting winter get the best of you this year, consider a few of the following tips to help beat those winter blues, and avoid the shock when you step back on the scales!
1. Get Some New Clothes
Wait – before you zip out the door to the mall, we mean outdoor clothes that you can exercise in. Just because it’s less than perfect outside doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise! With a small investment in some base layers and waterproof clothing you can keep up your routine longer, which means less time for the winter pounds to accumulate.
2. Find a New Wavelength
Sometimes the problem isn’t necessarily the weather, but just the feeling like you’re in a rut. So break out! Discover a new type of exercise – dance, yoga, tai chi, kickboxing, etc. Many gyms and studios will offer the first class free so you can see if you like it. If anything, the change of scenery may be enough to get you motivated. If not, at least you tried and there are tons of other activities you can discover.
3. Evaluate Your Diet
If a lack of energy is the culprit behind your lack of mobility then you may want to consider making some adjustments to your diet to compensate. Many times the change in seasons can result in a Vitamin D deficiency – so pick up some fortified orange juice and start your day off right. You can also consider adding more B6 and B12 to your daily intake which will help increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. If you are a vegan, a good source of B12 is fortified rice milk, and B6 has many sources including chickpeas, baked potatoes, and rice bran.
4. Find a Sport
There are just as many outdoor pursuits in the winter as the rest of the year, so now is a great time to try a new sport! Ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, downhill skiing; there are so many options. Perhaps grab a few friends before you get started, so you can all help each other “learn the ropes.”
5. Go Inside
Some of us just weren’t mean for the cold and harsh winter weather. In this case, head indoors! If you have a large mall in your area, find out if they have a walking club. You can also check out a recreational center or gym in your area for a change of pace. If you can buy a monthly pass then it’s a great way to supplement your summer activities without having to exceed your fitness budget.
It doesn't really matter how you decide to keep fit this winter, the important thing is that you take action! The hardest part is to get started, but once you do, it's much easier to keep up with a new routine. Now get moving and start this year off right!