As the long, dark days of Winter and numerous holidays loom in the distance, we need to recommit to health and nutrition. This time of year derails many people in their quest for health. The shortened daylight hours for outdoors activities and all the festivities can crowd health initiatives unless we prepare. Here are 11 tips for thriving during this time. *This article has been adapted from our AFPA curriculum for certification of Nutrition and Wellness coaching.
- Plan for decreased activity. Be aware of how these changes may interfere with normal schedules and be prepared to get creative with your pursuit of activity.
- Write your “Why”, whatever it is. It may be a long standing health concern or sheer fun, such as being able to take a cruise and feel confident in our swimsuit. Whatever it is, writing it increases your motivation.
- Try new things like an exercise routine or recipes in the kitchen. This will reinvigorate your fitness agenda and keep you motivated.
- Try “movement snacks”, small bits of time to be more active, when your regular routine is derailed altogether. Park farther away, the stairs…and run them, lunge down hallways, do heel raises while washing dishes.
- Plan for snow days with a full range of “fitness snacks” and quick recipes with ingredients on hand.
- Get some outdoor gear, snow pants and warm layers. Rent or borrow snow shoes, cross-country skies, skates or sleds. Just hiking through snow can be a killer workout.
- Know your nutrition obstacles such as traditional desserts, rich pasta dishes and office pastries and carry food that will help you attain the goal that you desire.
- Have a go-to healthy holiday dish that you take to social events and have at home.
- Eat healthy carbs. They balance out your serotonin and create a better mood.
- Boost your immune system. Get enough sleep. Avoid alcohol. Eat fermented foods. Drink water.
- Prep for active travel. Stay in motels that have an exercise room and walk everywhere that you can.
Winter does not have to mean weight gain. Plan your work and work your plan. Get it done. Biceps don’t grow on trees. ;-*