Today’s article is all about how you can stay active in the winter and over the holidays because, let’s face it, as the seasons are changing weather’s getting colder for many of us.
There are many excuses not to get outside, not to do as much activity, and we’re stuck inside, we’re eating more food, we’re not as active. Lots of us tend to gain weight during the winter times, and we just don’t feel as energetic or motivated as we do at other times of the year.
This is a problem that many of us face, and we need to have a solution and find simple ways to get ourselves more active.
Here is what we recommend you to do:
- Nutrition is #1
- Morning movement routine
- Micro-workouts 30-20-10 5 min
- Family activity outside
The first thing we want you to understand is that nutrition is the key. We know this is about being more active in the holidays but do know that if you can just control your calorie intake and not binge on all sorts of kinds of foods, it’s going to help you not fall into this rut. Even though you may be a little less active as long as you’re not blowing things up on the nutrition side, you may not gain any weight at all.
In fact, if you clean up your nutrition, you may even lose weight, so nutrition is the key because you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
Quite frankly, we’d rather have you eating healthy over the holidays and not getting as much exercise in than trying to find tons of ways to exercise while also binging on a lot of high sugar foods. It would be best if you understood – nutrition is the foundation.
When it comes to activity that’s also obviously important for health and fitness, the first thing we recommend you do is to start a morning movement routine over the winter if you don’t have one already.
When we wake up in the morning, there are a couple of things that our bodies need. The first thing is some quality rehydration. We need some quality water we got to get in our bodies. We have not been drinking water throughout the night, and our body’s in a slightly dehydrated state, so we need to get the water in to get the energy levels up to get the system moving.
We also need to move our bodies, so we recommend you carve out 10 or maybe 20 minutes in the morning to do a little morning movement. Before the day gets busy, before you have all your obligations and all the things you need to get some morning movement in.
You could do this at home, so there’s really no excuses during the wintertime when you have simple movements. Just get it in the first time in the day, and it’s going to help set your energy up for the rest of the day and help you feel a lot better.
The third workout thing we should say is micro workouts. This is the idea that many people believe – you need to carve out formal time for exercise to have more activity, and that’s just not true. You can do a little bit of activity sprinkled throughout the day.
Imagine you are working, maybe you’re working at home right now, and you have a little desk set up somewhere in your house, and every few hours you get up, set a five-minute timer, and you do five minutes of activity.
What this is to do for you is going to help increase your circulation, increase your energy, help you burn some more calories. And if we do five minutes of these micro-workouts and we do this six times per day – that’s 30 minutes of activity that you wouldn’t have got normally. It’s actually going to help your brain, and your mood and everything to function better, and you’re going to feel better by doing this.
A simple example of a micro-workout would be “30-20-10”. You do 30 jumping jacks, 20 air squats with just your body weight, and 10 push-ups. You can do the push-ups on the floor, or you could do them on your desk on a countertop if they’re a little easier for you. The point is we’re getting your body moving. You set that five-minute timer, and you just circle through these 30-20-10 – you’re going to be amazed how these really effective exercises will make you feel better.
Now, you don’t have to make these exact motions, if you like doing different kinds of exercises, like plank or some sit-ups – that’s fine, but just getting into the habit of doing micro-workouts throughout your day is going to help you accumulate good activity.
It’s going to get you out of the all-or-nothing mindset that you’re either doing a formal workout or you’re not being active at all – that’s just not the truth.
And the final thing we have for you is doing some family activities. Just because it might be cold outside during the winter doesn’t mean you can’t get outside. And that doesn’t mean that maybe some chores that you may have to do like shoveling snow or even getting your family or you need to walk your dog or something like that.
Getting outside and doing that as a family is very good. Just getting time outside is very important, like getting sunshine on your skin for the vitamin D and maintain that circadian rhythm – this is one of the reasons that we want you to get outside even though it’s colder – do something like this with your family.
These are the tips to remember. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet, so even if you’re less active, cleaning up your nutrition is number one.
Number two some kind of morning routine:
- You get up.
- You have your water.
- You start moving your body, whether it’s a stretching routine, whether it’s that seven-minute metabolism-boosting workout.
Just carve the time in the morning so that your day does not get too busy and you don’t get this stuff in.
And then during your day – micro-workouts – just sprinkle them in five minutes here or there. So five minutes, six times, and you do this every single day – you just got three to four more hours of exercise per week that you may not have gotten usually.
We need to understand there are seasons to life and there are seasons to the environment. We need to adapt our routines to ensure that we stay on track and give our bodies what they need.