During the winter months, it’s easy to become lax with exercise, diet and your general wellbeing. Thanksgiving, Christmas and bringing in the New Year usually involves heavy drinking and gorging ourselves with too much food; temperatures drop, and getting out of bed becomes more difficult with longer nights and less daylight. It can, therefore, become all too tempting to abandon our healthy routines – and, before we know it, we’ve gained that winter weight and have those winter blues.
Keeping your body fit over winter can be a challenge, but it’s imperative. Exercise and eating healthy benefit your physical body, but they also benefit your mental wellbeing and immune system. Fit does not mean muscles, lean torsos or large arms, it means avoiding illness, regulating your weight and improving your mental health. This is how to keep your body and mind fighting fit this impending winter.
Regulate the Temperature
You need to ensure your house’s temperature stays comfortable. Avoid becoming too cold, or even hot, by checking your heating or air con units before winter sets in; by doing so, you’re preparing and saving yourself from any issues appearing when the temperatures plummet. Be smart, and call professionals such as Ambient Edge Heating and Air Conditioning before the cold sets in and the snow falls. Regulating your home’s temperature means a lessened risk of heart attack, stroke, flu, hypothermia and pneumonia. Cold weather can also affect those who suffer from depression and dementia.
Other ways of keeping your home warm include keeping your bedroom at 18C all night, and if you have a baby then they should sleep in a room heated between 16C and 18C. Draw curtains at dusk, and block all draughts.
Stick to Your Exercise Routine, or Adapt it
Keeping motivated can be difficult, especially when you wake up to a dark outside and cold temperatures. However, you must stick to your exercise routine. With winter, usually comes an increased chance of treating yourself to unhealthy foods, so keep on top of your weight. If you’re an outside runner but you run less because of the cold, wind and rain, then buy a three or more month membership at a nearby gym and use their treadmills.
You could also adapt your exercise routine and change your sports completely. For example, if you struggle to cycle in the winter and you dislike cycling machines, experiment with another sport. Try your hand at weightlifting, do 30-minutes on the rowing machine, or find a sport that’s exhilarating but also indoors, such as rock climbing and bouldering.
It’s easy to become sluggish throughout winter; therefore, exercise will not only improve your body, but it will also keep your mind healthy. An increase in serotonin can better and help stabilize moods, especially for people suffering from mental health problems. It can also improve sleep, social behavior and aid with appetite and digestion.
Keep to Clean Eating
During the winter, salads can become unappetizing as we start to crave warm, winter comfort foods. This is the season for soups, stews, pasta, pies and slow cooked meats – which can all be healthy if prepared and cooked properly. Look for local, seasonal produce, load up on healthy vegetables and legumes, and stick to proteins such as chicken and fish. Make sure you make your soups and stews from scratch to avoid processed foods and hidden saturates. Foods you should eat this winter include squash, sweet potato, beets and cauliflower. Being healthy doesn’t mean food has to be boring, and by watching what’s put on your plate most of the time, you can treat yourself at those important gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.