Winter is coming….. Holidays, cold weather and big cozy sweaters. All “excuses” as to why we tend to put on the extra pounds and let our exercise programs go by the wayside.
Small changes now can help prevent the “snowball effect” of the next few months.
The cold weather means for many, moving their exercise routines indoors. Here are some motivators that can keep you on the right track for the next season.
***This is usually a good time of year to get a new pair of sneakers. Moving from outdoor training to a gym or exercise class requires an adjustment in footwear in order to prevent injury. Sneakers have gotten worn out from “pounding the pavement” so now is a perfect time of year to pick up a new pair. Choose a sneaker with good support in the forefoot but flexibility to allow cross training.
****Buy yourself a new gym outfit or some cold weather gear to keep you training outdoors a little longer.
Who doesn’t like to put on a new outfit? Warmer outdoor gear with appropriate reflectors for safety and material to help keep sweat off you so you don’t get cold are important to keep your outdoor program going a little longer. And don’t forget the head gear to keep your head and ears warm as well as gloves for your hands. A new gym outfit is a great motivator to get you feeling and looking good while working out. Athletic wear is everywhere and at every price point, so treat yourself to something new.
****Change up your routine. Winter is a great time to add a something new to your work out. Summertime has meant tennis, jogging, swimming etc. Adding yoga or pilates or trying a zumba or cross fit class may be just the thing to keep you from getting bored as well as focusing on muscle groups you might not have been working on. Or, keep your summer going by taking up swimming or joining an indoor tennis league.
****Watch your diet and plan accordingly. Winter means lots of holiday parties and family dinners which many use as an excuse for the pounds that we put on over the next few months. Well it doesn’t have to be that way if we plan according and let ourselves enjoy without going overboard. Now more than ever is the time to eat clean and healthy the rest of the week and allow ourselves to REALLY ENJOY our “cheat” days. Many use a “bad” day of eating as an excuse for the rest of the week. “Oh, well I already went off my diet for the holiday party so what’s one or two more days, or weeks. This mentality leads to a snowball effect that contributes to weight gain not only during the holidays but throughout the year. If we really let ourselves enjoy our “cheat day” without the guilt but watch ourselves the rest of the week, we can truely enjoy our guilty pleasures.
****Limit portion sizes. So you love stuffing, or can’t wait for the pecan pie for dessert. Go ahead and enjoy, but take a smaller piece or portion size and add more of the healthy options on the side. Doubling the roasted vegetables and adding a side of fruit to your dessert will allow you to indulge a little without going off the deep end. And don’t forget the pre dinner family football game or brisk morning walk to burn a few extra calories before sitting down to your feast.
Yes , winter is coming, which also means so is the snow. Winter activites like snow shoveling, skiing and snow shoeing may lead to injuries if we don’t get our bodies prepared. Start focusing on your core, particularly your obliques to protect your spine when shoveling. Also, now is a great time to start working those quads, hamstrings and gastrocs (calf muscles) in order to protect your knees from injury on the slopes.
So embrace the cold and pull out those boots and sweaters. Hopefully these tips will help you get through the cold months without packing on the pounds and injury free.