The following is a guest post by Jennifer Scott.
Winter creates the perfect storm for weight gain: shorter days coupled with cold weather, the holiday season full of parties, hearty meals, and over-indulgence, and the ability to wear bulky sweaters that keep you warm but also hide imperfections better than your lighter summer wardrobe. Rather than let winter get the best of you this year, use these strategies to keep your fit figure all year-long.
Don’t Let the Holidays Sap Your Willpower
The holidays start happening in fall, and then it seems like there’s another excuse to overeat every few weeks. It’s easy to let your willpower fall by the wayside when you’ve cheated on your usual healthy diet by sneaking a few pieces of your kids’ Halloween candy or eaten a few too many helpings at Thanksgiving dinner. Many people assume that they’ve already blown their diet, so what’s another cheat day, another slice of pie, or few pieces of your mom’s famous fudge?
Studies reveal that people grossly overestimate the amount of weight they gain over the holidays. What many people report as an average of 3.5 pounds (up to 6.7) is actually an average of just under one pound. With that knowledge, go forth and enjoy a cheat day or two, but don’t use it as an excuse to toss your healthy lifestyle to the side every day this winter.
Bring the Gym to You
Snowy, icy road conditions may prevent you from getting to the gym, but nothing prevents the gym from coming to you. If you live in an area prone to winter weather, invest in a few essentials to get a workout in anytime from home. A yoga mat, a few dumbbells and kettlebells, and some resistance bands can get you pretty far when you can’t hit the gym.
There are dozens of apps offering different workouts spanning everything from yoga to intense cardio. If you’re crunched for time, download a 7-Minute Workout app. These short interval workouts are designed to produce the same results you could achieve with a longer, more intense training regimen. However, they do require you to put in 100% effort for every move, and for the best results, you’ll want to work your way up to doing three or four rounds.
Stick to Routines and Habits
When there are few hours of sunlight each day, it’s easy to lose your motivation and willpower to stay healthy when you’d rather curl up under a warm blanket for a nice, long nap. While it’s crucial that you get enough sleep to allow your body time to rest and rejuvenate, too much time spent lounging around will leave you falling short of hitting your goals.
Healthy habits are your friend. Habits are routines that you’ve done the same way for so long that they’re second nature to you. If you’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to run all spring and summer, continue getting up at 5:00 a.m. and getting your workout in for the day – even if it’s too icy outside to run.
Use a treadmill if you have one or find another workout you can do at home that gives you the same thrill that running does. Mixing up your fitness can actually be helpful for overcoming plateaus, so you might just discover a new way to combine different workouts that gets the best results.
If you tend to find that your jeans fit a little tighter towards the end of winter or that your warm-weather clothes don’t look quite as good on you when you pull them out of storage, you’re probably adding a few pounds or inches over the winter. Commit to healthy habits, find an indoor fitness program that works for your schedule, and avoid falling into the trap of thinking that one bad day blows your fitness goals for the whole season, and you’ll keep your healthy mindset and well-being in check.
Image via Pixabay by mojzagrebinfo