The Ultimate Secret to Staying Fit During the Upcoming Winter Months

After the heat of summer, most people are starting to look forward to sweater weather. However, an unfortunate reality is that it can be hard to maintain your fitness progression once winter hits. Not only is it harder to exercise, but there are also all sorts of fun holiday parties tempting you to ignore your diet. If you want to stay in shape throughout the winter months, follow these tips.

Join a Gym and Exercise Indoors

If you typically exercise by walking around the block or weight lifting in your garage, the colder months can make it hard to muster up the motivation for exercise. Now can be a great time to join a gym. Many gyms offer special deals during the winter months, since they tend to have less customers in early winter. Being able to get dressed and go somewhere to exercise can help get you in the right headspace for staying fit. Not interested in joining a gym during the pandemic? If you are worried about your local gyms' ability to stay germ-free, consider setting up a home gym. Exercising inside with a treadmill or basic bodyweight exercises can provide impressive results.

Don't Let a Cheat Meal Turn Into a Cheat Month

With all the holidays and parties of winter, there are plenty of opportunities for eating tasty yet unhealthy foods. There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then. However, the big danger is letting an occasional party derail your entire diet. Many people start eating a few cookies and then decide to pause their diet until the new year. It is important to avoid this sort of all-or-nothing thinking. Being healthy is about making sustainable lifestyle changes, not alternating between severe restriction and binge eating. Enjoy delicious holiday treats for one day, and then get right back on track.

Find Fun and Active Winter Activities

Exercising at home or in the gym is a great way to stay in shape, but why not take advantage of the colder months? Exercising outside can actually be a great way to stay fit, since being cold burns extra calories. If you are lucky enough to live in a place with plenty of snow and space, try taking up skiing, snowboarding, skating, or other winter sports. These fun activities are an excellent way to get in shape while enjoying the colder months.

Eat More Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

During the winter months, the reduced amounts of sunshine can lead you to feeling "blah." This general fatigue and weariness can make it hard to actually get out there and get moving. If you are one of the many people affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression, it can be even harder to care about your fitness during winter. Several studies have found that nutrition is closely linked to SAD and other related disorders. Eating more foods rich in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids can help to protect the brain and give you a little more energy. These helpful nutrients are found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, and other similar foods.

Remind Yourself of Your Motivation

When you are spending all your time in fluffy sweaters and sweatpants, it can be easy to lose sight of why you wanted to get fit in the first place. Staying motivated is tricky, so try sitting down and thinking seriously about why you want to get fit. For some people, this inspiration might be a swimsuit you want to fit into or a photo of a person you admire. However, it is often easier to get fit when you move your motivation beyond aesthetics. Think about family members you want to stay healthy for, physically demanding activities you want to try, or a medical condition you want to overcome.

Set an Exercise Schedule

With days getting shorter and shorter, it can feel hard to keep track of time. If you frequently find yourself looking at the clock and thinking "wait, it's already 9 PM?!" then you may want to try scheduling your exercise. By always exercising at a set time of day, you are less likely to get thrown off by the unusually short days. The important thing with an exercise routine is picking one that you can stick to. Over the top goals make it easy to get burnt out. Instead, select an exercise time and frequency that you can actually achieve.

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