Winter is a hard time to stay fit because it’s cold and we would all rather lounge inside with sweats on. Not only is it cold out, but it gets dark early in the evening and exercising in thermal clothing can be restrictive. Plus, there are festive events, holidays, and comforting foods on menus, which can set us back in our fitness goals.
It sounds simple, but maintaining your weight all year round is pretty challenging. The changing of seasons can bring mixed emotions and the winter makes it difficult for many people to find the motivation to get out and exercise. However, following a few of our quick and easy tips can lead to maintaining your physical health in the winter months.
1. Go Outside More and Get a Walk in
Walking is an incredibly healthy habit to pick up. Yes, it is winter and yes, it is cold out, but there are tons of other places you can go walking. Plus, in reality, not every winter day is bitter cold. Aim to check the weather at the beginning of each week and save your walking days for any time the temperature is more mild. That way, you can get outside without creating a negative experience for yourself. Fresh air is so important to staying healthy and it might not happen every day in the winter and that’s okay.
If cold weather is not for you, then you can find indoor tracks, go to the mall, or walk up and down your stairs in order to get your steps in. It’s an incredibly popular time of year to join a gym, so you can see if any of your nearby gyms are offering monthly promotions. That way, you can join while it’s cold and then quit once you want to go back to walking outside more often.
2. Dedicate Time for Fitness
For most people, time is a huge factor in why they do not work out regularly. Our lives are so busy between work, family, and friends, so it really helps to schedule time in advance of the day to dedicate to maintaining your physical health.
For people that have trouble staying motivated, it can help to book a fitness class, so that you block off that time. Also, workout classes often have a policy that reinforces your attendance by charging you if you do not show up. This is a great way to set aside time in which you will actually go. When you rely on yourself to just decide to go to the gym, other things usually get in the way. We suggest you try to plan a time and stick to it this winter.
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3. Create a Health Plan
Creating a health plan for yourself or your family is a great way to get everyone on board with staying healthy. You can first start by making meal plans for each week that include lots of vegetables and healthy fats. Meal prepping is another great way to stay on track. In the winter, it can be easy to order takeout or avoid cooking after you’ve had a long day and it gets dark before 6pm.
Planning out dinner time meals prevents us from eating unhealthy foods that are quick and easy. Couple this with a weekly workout plan and you’ll feel great about your physical health even if you are staying indoors more often. Staying on track without restricting yourself is key.
4. Partner Up!
Working out with a partner is always more fun than by yourself. If you have a family member, significant other, child, or friend that is willing to dedicate time to working out with you, make a plan with them. Maintaining your physical health this winter is easier if you turn working out into somewhat of a social activity. You can also book group fitness classes with your friends and grab a smoothie afterwards. You’ll be guaranteed to show up and have fun for that fitness morning.
5. Cut Sitting Time in Half
While we know wintertime is the best time to binge-watch your favorite shows on the couch, sitting all day can tighten your muscles and lower your energy levels. Try cutting down on your sitting time inside. For example, instead of sitting while working from home or the office, try standing and walking around. Standing desks have become very popular in the last two years, so a lot of office buildings offer them or you can find cheap ones on Amazon for your home. Alternatives include countertops or laptop stands, which can help you stand more.
Another trend is walking pads or under-the-desk treadmills, which can help you get lots of steps in while taking phone calls or writing emails. We’ve recommended a few affordable options in the article tagged below. Both of these ideas will help you feel energized and keep up your physical health while staying indoors.
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Even though snow and cold winds make it easy to skip your walks or gym routine, you don’t want to set yourself back. Once the spring rolls around, it will be that much harder to get back into your fitness plan. Instead, try these steps to keep maintaining your physical health in the winter. Small mindset changes can work wonders. Don’t get discouraged and don’t always get out of your sweatpants, just stick to a health plan until temperatures rise again.