For this week's article, we've got a guest blogger! Jason Lewis, with strongwell.org, is a personal trainer dedicated to helping people stay on track with their health goals.
Don’t succumb to a weather-workout slump! Even when the outdoors is cold and nasty, you can keep up your fitness routine. Here are some tips for maintaining - and even enjoying - your fitness plan from the comfort of indoors .
Reframe Your Outlook
Let’s face it, when the weather is foul, finding the motivation to keep moving can be tough. And whether you realize it or not, some experts advise the rhythms of your body may be thrown off by the changing seasons. Less sunshine and a colder climate can mean feeling a bit saggy. Don’t succumb to sluggishness! When weather is keeping you indoors, think of it as an opportunity to refocus on your goals and work on an “off-season” fitness plan. Track what you do, and remember activity counts, even if it’s not your usual routine. And don’t beat yourself up if you get a little off track now and then. Keep your focus and stay fit!
Maintain Good Habits
It’s important to keep your whole wellness program in place, regardless of the weather. Without sufficient sleep, proper hydration and good nutrition, your body won’t have the energy required to keep up a healthy lifestyle and fitness routine. For many people, cold weather and holiday gatherings mean comfort foods (and beverages!) When you’re tempted to over-indulge, consider cooking a healthy version of your favorite meals instead of using grandma’s recipe. Try a meat-free option to cut calories, go keto to cut carbs, or try paleo for a healthy balance. You can find alternative recipes online or, to avoid having to venture out in the cold altogether, order a kit from a meal delivery service.
If you find you’re getting the munchies, try doing some small exercises instead. Adding a little movement to your lifestyle can combat those feelings and help maintain healthier patterns. Also avoid checking your phone all the time, especially right before bed or as soon as you rise in the morning. It’s better for helping you catch enough z’s and also keeps your mind clear of distracting or stressful thoughts. Take time in the morning or before turning in at night to stretch and breathe instead. You’ll lower your stress levels, sleep better and feel better.
Stay Simple & Pinch Pennies
Maintaining your exercise plan doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Self offers a 60-minute indoor exercise routine designed to increase your energy level and it just requires a mat, bottle of water and access to the Internet. Exercises work your whole body and are already set to upbeat, fun music. Just clear a little space on your floor and get moving. Mix it up with videos via YouTube from which options abound. If you feel a little lost in the many YouTube choices, The Penny Hoarder features several reviews. Their recommendations include a 30-day yoga regimen from the “Yoga With Adriene” channel, as well as classes introducing Pilates or yoga for beginners. For something more intense there are cardio options from “FitnessBlender” and an ab-focused workout from personal trainer Jillian Michaels.
Switch It Up
When you’re having trouble maintaining motivation, one thought is to do some cross-training. For instance, running on a treadmill several days each week may be hum-drum, but mixing up your options offers multiple benefits. Cross-training can lower your chance for burnout, reduce your risk of injury, enhance your workout recovery, and keep you more fit. When things get dull, aim for variety.
Keep Your Routine
Keep a good outlook, maintain healthy habits and find ways to get moving even when frigid temperatures keep you inside your home. You’ll find you’re more fit, more focused and feel great!