Staying healthy over the winter months can often be a challenge for a variety of reasons. Colder temperatures tend to keep people indoors, winter sweaters and clothes are much more forgiving, and we are bombarded with holiday meals, treats, baking and other distractions that can pack on pounds easily. Considering that a pound of body fat is made up of 3500 unburned calories, and a big slice of pecan pie ala mode can easily carry that many calories, it’s easy to see how the winter can be a challenging season to maintain healthy weight.
While we may not always feel like going outside, there are a variety of ways to help avoid excessing weight gain over the holiday. Here are a few suggestions:
Count your calories. Use an app (myfitnesspal.com as an example) to count your caloric intake. Balance each day with the right amount of exercise to help burn, not store, what you eat.
Watch for social outdoor events. It’s easier to tolerate cold weather if you are surrounded by enthusiastic people! Walk/run a 5K, join a walking club, find an outdoor fitness park (many are listed here https://www.playcore.com/nds/map ) or partake in winter “snow day” activities like skating, sledding, and snowshoeing.
Take the stairs. Running or walking the stairs in your place of work, home, or apartment can be a great cardio workout. If you’re just starting out, add walking intervals every few floors to help stabilize your heart rate in between flights. If you’re a stair pro, try skipping a step or sprinting some flights.
Work out at home. Building a small area in your home to workout is a great way to stay fit if you aren’t cold tolerant. It doesn’t have to be a big area, and investing in a few tools, like a stability ball, resistance bands, a jump rope, or other small home equipment can provide great workout sessions. Check out some options here .
Dance. Put on your favorite music and get moving! If you don’t know how, there are lots of dance or dance fitness classes you can try.
Whatever your choices, just remember to balance food intake with active behavior to help get through winter without packing on unwanted weight!