Winter Health Tips
As these colder months approach, it can be incredibly tempting to just stay rugged up inside with a nice book and enjoy snacking on some comfort food. If you only do this every now and then, it shouldn’t be a problem, however keeping your body fit and healthy is still very important even if you get to hide it under bulky jackets and scarves! Besides, it won’t be long until it’s beach weather again and you don’t want to have to work overtime undoing all the neglect your body experienced over the winter.
This means looking at your diet and exercise habits and making the adjustments necessary to accommodate the colder climate, without packing on too many extra pounds!
So what sort of foods should I eat?
Around the colder months of the year we naturally crave more food, and this urge goes back to our basic survival instincts. We subconsciously want to put more weight on to protect our organs during the winter cold, as well as stock up on food stores in case food becomes more scarce.
These needs no longer apply to the majority of us, with our warm clothing and central heating, so there is no longer a need (or excuse!) to dismiss a healthy diet or stay away from the gym.
This doesn’t mean you should stick with only summer salads, quite the contrary, eating healthy hearty meals are important in winter, you just need to ensure that you are working out in a proportionate amount to how much you are eating.
What are good food choices:
- Hearty soups and stews packed full of vegetables, beans, lentils and meat are fantastic ways to ensure you are getting all the nutrients needed, as well as satisfying that warmth and hunger craving.
- Complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and wholemeal breads and pastas, are great ways to ensure that you have the energy needed for the extra exercise as well as keeping you feeling fuller for longer
- Root vegetables are another diverse and nutritious option that can be incorporated into your diet, to help you feel fuller and more satisfied. They can be enjoyed in your soups, stews, or even used steamed, baked or mashed.
What to avoid:
Just because it is winter, and you won’t be seen in your swimming costume, doesn’t mean you should binge on unhealthy foods that are bad for your body. So avoid foods that are:
- High in refined sugars
- High in saturated fats
- Overly processed
What kind of exercises are best?
Finding a balance between resistance training and endurance training is the most effective way to keep your body in good shape over winter, especially as most of us are inclined to eat more than during the warmer months.
Aim to participate in at least 20 minutes of endurance training and 10 minutes of resistance training each day.
If you are usually into outdoor jogging, or bike riding, then during the icy winters these might not always be options. So incorporating endurance training into your home workout or gym session is very important. It is not just about running, bike riding or rowing though. If you don’t have a treadmill, spin bike or rowing machine, there are many other exercises you can incorporate that will get your heart rate up, such as:
- Step ups
- Mountain climbing and many more
Resistance training is important to maintain and develop strength throughout your whole body. Using dumbbells or a resistance band is an easy and convenient way to incorporate resistance training into your home workout. Remember, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you are burning, even when you are not exercising!
Why not join in with the Winter Health conversation in our 66fit LinkedIn group? You can also find us on Facebook as 66fit Australia, 66fit UK and 66fit Deutschland along with Twitter and G+. Come and meet us in person at the NEC Birmingham for either Leisure Industry Week (LIW), 22nd and 23rd September 2015, Stand No: Hall 4/C29 or the Occupational Therapy Show on the 25th and 26th November 2015. Also at the Sonnwendlauf in Seelbach, Germany 19th June 2015 and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia 2nd to 4th July 2015.