Winter is coming. The saying may be growing stale after its run as the most well-known Game of Thrones catch phrases, but everything loaded into that line has meaning when it comes to your fitness and health.
It’s time to prepare for colder weather, which creates more challenging workout conditions, especially if you’re love to be outside. It’s time to keep your friends and family close for support of your health goals. It’s time to fight the urge to curl up under blankets and hibernate for a few months. It’s time to do battle against all of the holiday treats that would ruin all the progress you’ve made towards a healthier diet.
For most of us, spring and summer are the times for “getting into bikini shape,” “starting a new exercise plan,” or “burning off all those extra Christmas calories.” But what if you spent your winter in such a way that didn’t require “recovery” or “making up for” once the weather gets warmer? Like it or hate it, winter is coming and it is time to get your game face on.
Here are some winter-friendly health considerations for you as the weather gets cold:
Keeping up with your current exercise regime can be a heck of a challenge as the weather starts to get colder. Exercising in colder conditions requires a fair amount of additional warm gear and a tough mentality. Not everyone is cut out to run outside in a couple inches of fresh snow after all. Luckily there are all sorts of activities that can keep you going during the colder months of the year.
For instance, you could look into taking fitness classes, such as yoga, cycling, or kickboxing. These classes can be a fun change of pace that keep exercising fun for you, and may even help you reach the next level of fitness. Numerous studies show that introducing variety into your exercise plan can keep you from plateauing by keeping both your mind and body engaged.
You may also be interested in picking up a lifetime sport during the colder season. Something like swimming or bowling can be a great form of indoor exercise during the winter. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating can be great if you do want to spend a bit of time outside on nice days.
Get Excited About Your Food
Probably the single most difficult aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the winter isn’t the frigid conditions at all. Rather, it is managing to not overindulge on all of the delicious foods and treats that come with the multiple holidays back to back. All those treats can be tempting for even the most disciplined health guru.
Although you shouldn’t completely limit yourself from having a few treats here and there, it is important to keep it within reason. A good way to help avoid all the unhealthy foods is to bring healthy side dish alternatives. Rather than only turkey, stuffing, and potatoes with gravy at Thanksgiving, bring a fall-inspired salad or fresh veggie dishes that use cauliflower or green beans. Who knows, your dish may inspire a new family food tradition.
You may also take up cooking as a winter hobby. Learning to cook can help you feel more in control of the food you eat, and give you more power in determining what healthy foods you want to eat. There are a number of healthy brain and body foods you can start with to keep you feeling fresh and fabulous all winter.
Take Care Of Yourself
The arrival of winter can also provide a unique opportunity to take care of yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t in the summer. Taking care of things that will keep you indoors recovering for a couple of days won’t be quite as big of a deal. Especially if your recovery doesn’t limit you from any of your indoor exercise or healthy cooking plans.
For example, if you are considering getting treatment for varicose veins, winter is the ideal time. Your skin can take some time to heal after the procedure, which means you shouldn’t be out where you can get a sunburn. Likewise, bruising is pretty common, and you won’t have to work to cover them up in cold weather clothing. Winter can also be the ideal time for things like laser hair removal, dental work, or lasik for similar reasons.
Some people struggle with their mental health more than others in the winter. Fortunately, staying active and eating healthy can actually make a big difference in combating the winter blues. Indoor classes that you might pick up for exercise may actually have a more significant mental health and social benefit than you could originally imagine.
The arrival of winter doesn’t necessarily mean it is time to close up shop and wait for summer to get back into shape all over again. If looked at through the right lens, winter can actually offer a lot of opportunities to change things up in a positive way. Take advantage by trying a new workout plan, tasting new healthy foods, and taking care of any lingering minor medical procedures.