Winter months can be magical. Cooler temperatures mean warm sweaters, flannel sheets, and hot cocoa. However, for many of us, this might mean that physical activity takes a backseat to sampling the holiday cookie spread in the break room or enjoying your second glass of mulled wine.
Studies indicate that the holiday season – from the last week of November to the first or second week of January – is a critical time in weight gain for the average adult. These months may account for more than 50% of the weight gained throughout the year.
To help keep you moving, these four tips for maintaining fitness in the winter will come in handy.
Don’t wait for motivation
You may be part of the lucky few that are always ready to work out. You have no trouble rising at 5am without an alarm clock, the frigid morning floor isn’t a deterrent and seeing your breath as you head to your car for a gym session or begin your run is no big deal. For the rest of us, pushing through the mental and physical challenges can make the difference between athletic progress or setbacks.
Just remember that starting is always the hardest part. The key is to not wait until you are ready or motivated. Do not let anything (outside of emergencies!) stand in your way of starting.
Be mindful here – take it moment by moment.
In the first moment, all you have to do is get up. Check.
In the next moment, put on your athletic gear. Done.
In the final moment, start your activity. And you’re off!
Try to recall how you felt when you did skip a session. Remember: you’ll never regret working out.
Get an Accountability Partner
Finding an accountability partner is an incredible tool to build your community and maintain relationships. There are a few ways to go about it. You can ask a friend with similar goals to work out together. I always like to partner with someone who is more fit or skilled than I am; that competitive edge makes me push even harder.
It’s also nice to be the one guiding a friend, if you’re a little farther along on the journey than they are.
If you don’t have anyone local, ask someone in your life to check in with you via text or phone. For example, my sister is fluent in a language I’m learning, so we send a few daily texts in that language and she checks in to make sure I sign up for my lessons. It’s helpful for me, and she says that it motivates her to keep learning also.
Try New Indoor Activities
If being cold is intolerable for you, we understand. There are so many fun and interesting indoor activities you can try to push yourself throughout the holidays. Consider trying a rock climbing gym, take a dance class, or check out my article on best Cardio Workout if You Despise Running. Those are all activities you can do inside. You can also try checking out available coupons for different activities, so that you can see if you like something new without a major financial commitment.
Fuel Yourself to Move Yourself
Choosing the right foods and supplements can give you a nice boost to get you moving.
Try the Sugar Free Energizer. In my sports nutrition webinars I joke that I challenge you to try and take one of these products and then sit around and do nothing. It feels impossible!
For more well-rounded nutrition with a kick, try Vega Protein & Energy! This product features:
- 3g MCT oil (C8 and C10)
- 20g plant-based protein from pea protein and golden chlorella
- 100mg caffeine from organic coffee fruit
- Maca powder
- No artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners
- Vegan certified, non-GMO Project Verified, gluten free
With MCT oil, plant-based protein, and caffeine from organic coffee fruit, Vega ® Protein & Energy is the edge you need to power forward. Medium-chain triglycerides give this combination a smooth, delicious texture that blends with ease. The flavors will have you drooling: Cold Brew Coffee, Matcha Latte, Vanilla Bean, or Classic Chocolate.
Bonus tip: Let out your Inner (winter) Child
Remember shuffling inside tracking snow, ice and a slushy brown mix in after you in search of a warm snack? The tips of your fingers a little numb, your nose bright red and sniffling as the warmth of the indoors rushes over you. And with rumbling tummies you and your siblings or pals are seeking out the best snacks to calm those hunger pangs. You need refueling after a big afternoon playing. Remember when playing was your workout? Do it again!
That’s right! Play. Regardless if you have kids or not get out there and have a blast. Which also happens to be a great way to create memories with your little ones if you do have them. Remember the burning of your arms as you rolled up three large snowballs to construct the body of your snow person? The full range of motion in your back as you create an army of snow angels. Hiking up the hill with the sled dragging behind you (now with added weight if you give the off spring a ride up). Or the burning sensation in your glutes for 3 days after the first full afternoon of ice skating?
Fitness is even better when it is entertaining. Dust off the toboggan, break out the snow pants, find your favorite beanie (or tuque) and have some fun!
Do you have any favorite methods to keeping fit in the winter months? Which of these tips resonates with you the most? Comment below!
Paige Snyder works at Vega as a Regional Educator. She is a plant-based nutritionist who specializes in sport performance, stress management, and achieving your optimal weight. Paige is currently completing her Masters in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and loves to develop raw dessert recipes. plantbasedpaige plantbasedpaige