Now that winter weather seems to have arrived across the country, it's important for us to resist the urge to hibernate with a fridge full of comfort food. Grey skies and cold temperatures can make it harder to lead an active lifestyle, so here are some helpful strategies for weathering winter.
Bring it indoors. If the roads are too icy to run, and you’ve just about had it with all of the layers, let winter provide the opportunity to try out new indoor exercise options: power yoga and pilates, spin classes, home exercise videos, dance classes. The bottom line: keep moving. Any exercise is better than nothing, and the truth is, it provides an hour or more of not eating.
Create a new approach. If you have shied away from indoor options because you were wary of the benefits, you’ll be surprised to find that a new routine works an entirely new set of muscles. You’ll be sore the first few days, I promise. Changing your exercise routine allows your overworked muscles to rest and it often gets you out of a workout rut. When warmer weather returns, you’ll be ready to get outside again.
Fight the snooze button. Getting out of bed is difficult when it’s cold and dark. Try leaving your blinds open to allow whatever light there is into your bedroom in the morning. You may want to think about investing in a coffee pot with a programmable clock. That way you can wake to the smell of hot coffee (or tea – just place a few tea bags in the bottom of the carafe and use an empty filter instead of coffee).
Nip them at the first sign. A winter bug does not need to throw you completely off track. Listen to your body. If you feel something coming on, try not to ignore it. Ease up on exercise, drink lots of fluids, commit to getting more sleep and try a zinc supplement if it doesn’t bother your stomach.
Recognize what your body needs. A cold often becomes an excuse to give in to all comforting cravings. Remain aware of your food choices. You will find that eating regularly and getting more sleep makes you feel better than eating hard candies, ice cream and buttered toast.
Stay the course. Colds and flus tend to wreck havoc on exercise and eating patterns. If you are not too side-lined, try taking a steam or a long bath instead of exercising. This will help you maintain a semblance of your healthful routine. When you are feeling up to it, ease back into your workout. Do not attempt exercise with a fever, even slight, or severe congestion or cough.