Keeping Fit in Winter

Let’s face it; it’s a lot harder to focus on physical fitness when you’re facing heavy snow, school cancellations, dark, cloudy days and hibernation from the cold.  The long, dark days of winter can lead us to what some fitness gurus call “hibernating,” e.g. we become couch potatoes, watching movies and snacking.  Snacking = excess calories!

For most parts of the country, winter is only three months long.   Here in the Northeast however, we are more accustomed to epic winters that last from November until May in some cases!  The prolonged winter season creates for us plenty of opportunity to pack on excess weight!

But there is hope!  Here are some things you can do to stave off those extra pounds we tend to pack on in winter!

First, find an outdoor winter activity you’ve never done before!  Hiking, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, are some examples.  If you need help, take lessons!  This is a fun way to get out and enjoy Mother Nature while working off those extra pounds!

Shoveling snow is a great way to get additional cardio benefit!  To maximize your workout and for safety’s sake, we recommend stretching to loosen up first.  Did you know that an average person burns more than 500 calories an hour just shoveling snow?

If you don’t have the space to workout at home, then sign up for a gym membership!  The fact that you’re paying for it will help motivate you to use it, creating a sense of accountability.  And with the increasing American focus health and fitness, you’ll find more and more gyms in the area offering affordable rates!

If you do have the space, then create a home gym!  You can save considerably on fitness equipment by purchasing rubber resistance bands. Resistance bands typically come with handles and a door attachment.  They help you to work your whole body with exercises like chest presses, lateral raises, bent-over rows, triceps extensions, biceps curls and squats, and all without the need for free weights or bulky fitness machines.  You can also do body weight exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, crunches, push-ups, jump rope or simply walk in place.

Finally, the value of making good food choices cannot be overstated.  Avoid high-calorie foods that are high in saturated fats.  Stick to whole (unprocessed) foods that are high in nutrients.  Snack healthy on things like dried fruit and nuts, eat lean meats and fill up on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Avoid sodas and other sugary drinks – trust us, stick to water.  You’ll thank yourself for it!