Health and weight loss go hand-in-hand. As the temperature dips to the cooler side of things outside, many find it harder to go for that walk, run, or jog. Inside, we divulge 10 activities to stay healthy this winter.
What are the things that hold you back from exercising during the winter months? One of the best things you can do to help keep yourself motivated is to identify and tackle those things that cause us to pause. Maybe it is the cold weather or maybe you feel uneasy jogging at dusk or at night. The truth is, there are long lists of things that hold us back but this blog focuses on alternatives that help us to keep our health and weight loss goals.
1. Keep it Cool
Your body burns fat thanks to the hormone Irisin to keep your body warm. It is the same hormone that your body uses to burn fat when you exercise. A study in Cell Metabolism showed the benefits of shivering. Working in a cold office or walking when it is cooler outside can help you burn 13-44 percent more energy.
2. Install a Home Gym
A home gym does not have to be fancy. In fact, it can be as simple as a space that you dedicate to exercising. Maybe add a treadmill or elliptical bike or a mat and kinetic ball for stretching. A home gym is something that can improve the health of the whole family. Space at home for exercising is perfect when you don’t want to go to the gym.
3. Take the Stairs
Go the tougher route at work and skip the elevator. Instead, tackle the stair and burn calories while you work. Beyond burning calories, there is a substantial gain to cardiac capacity. Further, there is a considerable gain when descending stairs. So feel free to take the stairs, both climbing and descending.
4. Take Physical Fitness Classes
Having a schedule helps keep you on track and motivated to gain health and hit your weight loss goals. There are classes scattered throughout most communities. An excellent place to check is with your local fitness centers, community centers, a YMCA, and even the Senior Center. Generally, classes range from high-impact to passive. However, don’t discard a passive fitness class. Tai Chi, for example, is something anyone with balance issues should consider. While not a high-impact physical exercise class, it helps you keep your body healthy, flexible, and balanced.
5. Focus on Daytime Exercise
Walking at night can be dangerous. By walking in the daytime, you do your body a favor. Using the evening time to rest and then the night to sleep allows your body to recover from the daytime exercise. If the only time you can exercise is at night, then do shorter stints more often. A shorter exercise cycle still allows your muscles to recover. Shorter exercise cycles also help keep your body chemistry at an even level so that you can sleep.
6. Do the Buddy System
When you commit with a friend to walk, run, or exercise, you are more apt to keep those appointments. You can pair up or team up and hit the gym, go for power walks at lunch, or mix it up by changing the type of exercise you do each time you meet. Working out with your friends is also an excellent way to find that needed support and encouragement.
7. Add Super Foods to Your Menu
Superfoods are food-types that have mega doses of good things like antioxidants, enzymes, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The good news is that there are a ton of superfoods at your local market. Make a health commitment by changing the way you eat. The good news is that the healthier you eat, the more natural your weight loss can be. Also, keep in mind that it is not just food, but what’s in food. Drop the salt, sugar, and fat and accelerate your potential to lose weight.
8. Exercise Your Brain, too
Learn more about health and fitness. Your local library has a million books on both health and fitness plus they generally have a well-stocked section on exercise including DVDs. Remember that using the resources at your local library is free.
9. Make Mini-Goals
While Playing soccer is a beautiful exercise, we mean health and weight loss goals and not necessarily in terms of pounds. Make your goals about achievements such as improving your time for jogging a mile or increasing the amount of water you drink each day. Those kinds of goals help to set your body up for success.
10. Avoid Those Fad Diets
Many diets only drop water weight, and water is an essential part of who we are as people. We are, after all, about 77 percent water. Instead of dieting, try making a lifestyle change that celebrates your health level, not your weight. Eating healthy as opposed to starving for lunch actually helps prime your body to burn fat. So, make a commitment to enjoy healthy food.
It is always good advice to chat with your weight loss practitioner about your plans for losing weight or changing your diet. In fact, it is helpful to key in your family and your friends about your health and weight loss goals. Our friends and family can be a huge support and offer encouragement when we need it most.