10 Ways to Stay in Shape During the Winter Holidays

by John Esposito
fit couple with vegetables
Let’s face it: when the weather is cold, and everything seems to be hibernating for the winter, it’s easy to let yourself and your healthy habits go as well. That’s why it’s not surprising that when spring comes around, your clothes tend to shrink like they haven’t before. And if it’s not your clothes, then you might lack the same energy and get-up-and-go just as warm weather and spring come around. Granted, winters can be chilly and stressful. Days are short, nights are longer, and the frosty weather isn’t exactly conducive to establishing a healthy routine. Yes, exercising during winter can be a tall task for many. But its importance remains the same. Don’t fear, don’t cave into laziness, and don’t give up–you can give yourself the best Christmas gift by incorporating these ten weight loss tips during winter into your daily routine. Staying in shape during the holidays is possible with some organization and following these timely tips.      
  1. Remain active.
10 Ways to Stay in Shape During the Winter Holidays We can’t stress how important, regular exercise (30 minutes a day five times a week will do) is, even in the face of single-digit or sub-zero winter temperatures. But it’s hard enough to find the motivation to do that when the holiday season indulgences start getting in the way of your commitments.   Our advice? Make exercise fun, even when there doesn’t seem to be a way to do so. The idea is to pick and choose easy-to-accomplish aerobic activities baked into your holiday routine. This might include snowboarding, sledding, or hiking with friends and family, for some.   Prefer to stay indoors next to a warm, welcoming fire? The pandemic has left us with no excuses–there’s no shortage of indoor activities you can do at the drop of a hat. Think stationary bikes and treadmills, video games based on exercise and movement, or the endless trawl of content on streaming services geared towards fitness.      
  1. Strive for a balanced diet.
We get it–it isn’t easy to always eat the right thing during the holiday season. But the idea is to strive and make a conscious effort to go for healthier snacking options, control portions and cut down on indulgences. It’s all about achieving balance in your lifestyle. The same can be said about your diet. You’ll find yourself having more energy once you’ve ditched the excess fat, sugar, and salt. That’s almost a sure shot.      
  1. Opt to consume complex carbs.
Carbs always get a bad rep during the holidays, but not all of them deserve it. It’s the refined and processed carbohydrates you need to avoid–and they are in abundance during the holidays. Cookies, candies, chocolates, you name it…these foods laden with simple carbs lead to spikes in your insulin levels and ultimately to excess weight.   Instead, go for complex carbohydrates rich in fiber–an essential element of heart health. Fiber aids digestion as well as manages cholesterol and blood sugar. Eat whole-grain pasta, bread, rice, legumes, and veggies rather than the usual options.      
  1. Ditch the juice.
You might think juice is good because they come from fruit, but that’s just half the story. Most fruit juice products out in the market contain loads of sugar and unwanted calories. So instead of loading up on the juice, eat the real thing. Fresh fruit and vegetables are way better options and resist the temptation to throw them into a calorie and sugar-loaded smoothie.      
  1. Don’t miss out on breakfast.
Never skip breakfast–it’s a vital part of a healthy diet. Breakfast provides us the energy to power the brain and the body to perform the tasks we need to carry out. Don’t skip meals–rather, eat small meals throughout the day. Individuals who consume the right amount of healthy foods have better energy and metabolism throughout the day. After all, it’s hard to overeat when you’re satiated throughout the day.      
  1. Don’t forget to load up on calcium.
Calcium is an essential nutrient responsible for recovery, heart function, and bone health. Besides vitamins, minerals, protein, and amino acids necessary for muscle growth and bone density, milk is rich in calcium. There are plenty of dairy options that are either fat-free, low-fat, or fortified and options laden with sugar and fat, particularly the flavored variants. Opt for protein-rich Greek yogurt instead of flavored yogurt if you watch your sugar intake. That’s a 2:1 ratio of protein to sugar–an easy decision, right?      
  1. Switch up your protein sources.
Protein is part and parcel of a healthy diet, and it helps you stay satiated, build up your muscle mass, and help your body recover and repair itself. So, instead of going for red meat all the time, try switching things up by throwing in more omega-3 rich seafood, lean poultry, legumes, soy, tofu, eggs, and nuts. There are many ways to enjoy your protein that are much healthier than the usual red meat.      
  1. Talk to an expert before taking action.
Always consult a specialist anytime you plan to go on a new exercise or dietary program. Talk to your doctor and your dietitian so they can tailor your activities to your needs.      
  1. Find an accountability partner.
10 Ways to Stay in Shape During the Winter Holidays Enlist your network as accountability partners in your quest to stay in shape throughout the holidays. Go on an exercise date with your friend. Go for a walk around the city. Find a way to move around and get your heart pumping. Learn a martial art, learn how to dance, learn meditation and yoga…the possibilities are endless. Who says self-improvement can’t be fun?      
  1. Make time.
You need to be conscious about your commitment to exercising, even on days you wish you didn’t have to. Be deliberate about your schedule and make exercise a part of your daily routine. Write it down and note it in your calendar. Set the alarm and track your progress. There are plenty of health tracker apps available on every platform, each of which can help you stick to your goals. Gamifying your achievements and progress can be a very motivating thing.     Conclusion Granted, sub-zero temperatures aren’t exactly the most enticing nor encouraging setting for outdoor workouts. But when there’s a will, there’s a way–and there’s always no better time than right this instant to get started on your weight loss goals, no matter where you are and no matter what the weather is. You don’t need to wait until the new year. Follow these tips and get started today.  

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