Although it is important all year round, staying in shape during the winter is much more difficult compared to staying fit in the summer sun. It not only improves your mood, but also boosts your concentration and general health. However, who wants to get outdoors when it is cold and dark?
During winter, we prefer to move less and enjoy more comfort foods to satisfy our cravings. It is even more challenging when you have no plans and activities for the holiday season.
In the long run, you are far more likely to add some unwanted pounds at this time of year. However, this does not have to be the case.
A little creativity, mental strength, and a balance of healthy diet and consistent exercise will enable you to stay in shape all year round, including during the dreaded winter months. This guide and list of activities will help to make your winter healthy, fun, and enjoyable.
Develop Your Goals
This is the first and most important factor of getting through winter with a healthy weight and body shape. However, setting goals is easier said than done and may require some skills and brainstorming. You need time to develop and WRITE down your goals. When developing goals, ensure that they are motivating and divide them into long-term and short-term goals.
Finally, each of your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound goals and objectives are easier to work with. With your goals ready and clearly set out, come up with a plan and activities which will help you meet your goals in succession.
There are a lot of excuses why you should not start implementing your winter fitness plans, and they will certainly stop you from achieving your objectives if you give in to them. No workout clothes? It is not a beauty contest! Pick up your old pair of shorts and a faded T-shirt and get going. Not enough energy to exercise? Assess your sleeping, workout, and dietary habits and make the necessary changes.
You can start with very light exercises. Still craving holiday treats? This is one of the most challenging excuses. Indulge a little, but stuff your meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. Make a list of healthy foods and their nutritional value, as well as health benefits, and keep it within reach or hang it somewhere you will see it. This is a good motivator to healthy eating habits.
Have a Gym Membership
Are you ready to pay a monthly subscription or membership fee and let it go wasted? This is a good reason to consistently keep you in the gym. But that is not all…gym memberships come with a lot more benefits, such as free classes, professional trainers, fitness testing, and access to a variety of equipment and exercises to avoid boredom.
Gyms do not expose you to harsh outdoor conditions, so they are a good way to achieve your fitness goals during the winter. Overworking your muscles is a common experience for beginners and professional fitness enthusiasts alike, which necessitates a need for massage therapists. Other extras found in gyms include saunas, swimming pools, tanning, stream rooms, juice bars, spas, and outlets for exercise equipment and clothing.
Have a Workout Partner
Buddy system works well if you are struggling with your motivation. In fact, a good workout buddy can be the difference between incredible and pathetic fitness results. If you share the same fitness goals, a good partner will help you tap into strength and energy reserves and reduce your chances of cancelling, manipulating, or avoiding your workout schedules.
A good partner will make exercising fun, provide motivation, keep your ego in check, and help you try new workouts.
Excellent Ways to Get Exercise During the Winter
Walking is easy and only requires a comfortable pair of winter shoes. If you feel that gym exercising is too intense or you are unable to go due to one reason or another, mall walking could be your alternative. Walking up and down the stairs or escalators of your apartment may be boring, but doing the same in the nearby mall is more fun and offers more distractions to keep your mind busy and pass the time.
This less tedious exercise increases your heartbeat enough to be beneficial in reducing fatigue, risk of diabetes, and heart diseases. In fact, your body burns up to 400 calories on average per hour of walking.
This is an aerobic and social exercise that increases your endurance, improves muscle tone, and helps you lose and maintain a healthy body weight. Skating can be done free of charge in most arenas for those living in the snowier parts of the country.
Beginners are advised to skate for shorter distances and have more rest times in between each session. Distances can increase and rest times reduce as you become more accustomed to skating. Skating for one hour can burn about 800 calories.
This might sounds crazy and childish, but believe it or not, rope jumping is a good exercise for all your body’s muscles and a lowers your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
It also increases your flexibility and improves various body movements. In just 20 minutes of rope jumping, you can burn an average of 200 calories. This is pretty substantial compared to many more common forms of exercise.
Cleaning and Other Household Chores
Certain household chores are actually pretty good ways of staying in shape during winter holidays. Cleaning is just one of them.
It may not burn a lot of calories and should not be used as the only workout alternative, but cleaning and other housework are credited with keeping your weight in check in an era where robot cleaning machines and contracting of professional housecleaning services are the norm.
You can still meet your workout goals without spending lots of your hard earned dollars. There are so many simple workout videos that do not require expensive equipment or any added expenditure.
In case you do not have any videos with you, you can access a variety of videos online and on YouTube. Start with the simplest and work your way up to more complex and demanding ones.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight and good shape is good for your health and self-esteem. This, however, cannot be achieved by exercise alone. As you workout, it is also important to monitor your eating routine.
Instead of junk food, adopt healthier and more nutritional foods. According to recent research, striking a good balance of exercise and healthy diet increases your energy levels, improves your mood, and reduces the risk of many diseases.