Tips for Staying Fit in Winter

midwest express clinic winter fitnessWinter provides the perfect excuse to stay inside, cuddle up with a blanket and a hot beverage, and watch your favorite movies. Even those who stayed fit through fall can be deterred from physical activity when the temperature drops. Don’t let winter win – staying fit through the cold weather may take some extra motivation, but you’ll be glad you did when summertime arrives.

It’s important to stay active through winter because, according to one Colorado research study, natural fat-storing chemicals in people were almost doubled during winter over summertime levels, but exercise helps to promote a specific fat-burning enzyme to offset any excess storage. Working out in the winter can also bring some extra calorie-burning benefits, particularly if you’ve been provided with fresh snowfall. Your jogging pace may be slower, but your effort is increased, thus creating a more challenging workout. Of course, you’ll want to take extra precaution when exercising in any slippery conditions as you could be at increased risk of injury.

The key to any successful workout is using the right equipment, and with winter, that means proper clothing and other gear to match your chosen activity. Staying comfortable will help you get outside and successfully finish your workout. Just don’t get too comfortable; it’s easy to get home after work, change clothes, and settle into the couch with the intention of eventually doing your workout only to get drawn in to your favorite shows. If you find this to be your weakness, try an at-home workout during the commercials.

If you only have time for a workout in the morning, lack of sunshine on winter mornings can truly put a damper on your motivation since our brains are programmed to think “bedtime” when it’s dark. While you can’t fix the sun, try going to bed earlier every night, eventually getting your body programmed to falling asleep an hour earlier. The little bit of extra sleep will help tremendously to set you up for success.

Other great suggestions to help get you motivated include finding someone to workout with, or hire a personal trainer to hold you accountable; refresh your workout playlist to provide a fun little change that you’ll look forward to enjoying; keep an eye on your diet and make healthy changes – your workout won’t matter if your diet cancels it out; and try a new activity so you look forward to learning new skills or increasing your strength in new ways.

Winter doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your goals. With the right mindset, you can work through the season and come out healthier and happier. If you aren’t sure your body is up for the challenge, visit us today for a physical and get yourself moving!