When the winter months arrive, a stirring occurs within the depth of your primal nature which is brought on by cold weather and shortened daylight hours. Instead of bounding with energy as you did when basking in the jubilant summer sun, you grow sluggish and slothful under the heavy desire to hibernate. Your mood dampens, your eyelids droop, you splurge on eating, you prefer to stay indoors and you have a tendency to pack on extra pounds. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some winter practices which you can employ that will help you not only make it through the dreary winter months, but do with fun and all while staying free of cabin fever.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce
Winter is a good time to take advantage of the season’s healthiest foods by chowing down on nutrient rich vegetables. Not only are the good for you, but they will help to keep away the winter blahs.
Add such treats to your menu as winter squash, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, kale and turnips. When you can, add a section to your recipes that is specifically built around these vibrant and healthy winter foods.
Increase Gym Hours
Since winter puts a squeeze on daylight activities, add more exercise hours at the gym. Treadmills and spin classes may not beat a jog through the park or cycling around town, but they will keep the energetic juices flowing when you can’t make it outdoors.
Winter is also a good time to pack on some extra muscle mass. Increasing gym time and strength training will add bulk to your body while keeping away belly fat. Not only will you look better and be ready for summer beach weather, but you will increase your winter energy reserves and metabolism.
Take Up Winter Sports
Instead of spending extra time on the couch watching TV and munching on chips, take up a winter sport and venture into the great outdoors. Cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and winter hiking are not only a blast, but they also provide great workout sessions and fresh air.
When it’s too cold or nasty to get out, don’t lock yourself in your room with a case of the “Oh bother’s”. Various places offer indoor recreation during the winter. Stay active by locating a place that offers indoor rock climbing, heated indoor pool, or get some buddies together for an exciting afternoon of paintball.
Speaking of Buddies
Having a workout buddy is always a good thing. However, in the winter, it is even more essential to pair up with an exercise partner. You will keep each other accountable by making sure you don’t shrug off those strength training sessions, daily exercise excursions, or even cheat on your healthy diet.
An exercise partner (or partners) provides motivation, competition and encouragement. Then, when the day is done and you’ve both conquered your exercise program, you can also share the feelings of accomplishment.
Avoid cabin fever this winter by incorporating winter’s bounty of healthy foods into your diet, spending more time at the gym and getting out regularly for a fun winter sport. Oh yeah, and grab a friend to go with you!