Winter is upon us. That means warm fires and sharing delicious food and drink with our loved ones. Of course, all those additional calories come with a cost. Add in a lack of exercise and we can easily end up with a waistline that rivals Santa’s. So, what can we do to avoid this winter season pitfall? Read on, because we have some health tips on how to stay fit and have a healthy holiday season!
Add Exercise Where You Can
Unlike in the summer, where we can get lots of extra calories burned by just being outside and active, winter tends to need a more concentrated effort to get your exercise in. Some ways to accomplish this would be to set up a gym date with a friend, sign up for a fitness class or research a gym routine that will inspire you to stick with it. Another exercise health tip that you can integrate in your day to day routine is to create situations that will require you to move more. Walk, bike, or take transit places; all of which will require more exercise than driving. Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator when that is a possibility as well. Even better, plan a Saturday night dance party at a friend’s place! Don’t forget that exercise can be fun, too!
Plan and Eat Proper Meals
Hunger can be caused by many things and in the winter it is too easy to just start grazing away mindlessly. Being tired, lacking key nutrients, and being dehydrated contribute can create an appetite that is difficult to manage. So, make sure to plan healthy meals ahead of time and make sure you have lots of healthy snacks available (just try this Mackerel Tartine!) for those times you have the munchies. After all, it is far easier to exercise willpower one time at the supermarket than all of the time you are at home!
It is very easy to fall short of drinking the recommended 2 litres of water per day. Like many habits discussed here, getting into this one can take some effort at first. However, once you get used to it, it will become second nature. To assist with getting enough water, consider flavouring your water with tea some or zero calorie flavouring. Some people also find it easier to drink carbonated water. So, if that helps then go that route. Staying hydrated will help keep your energy up during the day – making it easier to get more exercise in – as well as making you feel less hungry; a double win!
Get Enough Sleep
Here is a holiday health tip that most will be overjoyed to hear: sleep is an underrated component in our physical health. For example, sleep-deprived people are 55% more likley to become obese. This could be related to sleep deprivation’s relationship with diminished willpower and cognitive functioning. So, take solace in knowing that part of staying in shape is accomplished through getting your Z’s. Ensure that your bedroom is your sleep sanctum and use it for sleep only. In other words, banish the TV to another room. Also, practice turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime in order for your body to properly prepare for sleep.
This holiday season, make a few subtle changes as outlined above to ensure that you are active, hydrated, getting the right nutrition, and well rested. This will go a long way in ensuring that you have the energy for all the holiday festivities and you will be ready for summer well in advance!