stay in shape

How to Stay in Shape During Winter

Winter, the time of year when everybody stays busy and frozen. For those of us who go running a lot, it’s a time when we need to make changes in our workout routine to stay in shape. I personally find no joy in jogging while it’s 13 degrees outside. At the same time, I understand that if I eat 5 pounds of Halloween candy, 3 full plates of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and drink massive amounts of alcohol for New Years, I will put on a few pounds. Over the years, I’ve found a few fun ways to stay in shape during the freezing months of winter. Sections are broken down into 3 categories: diet, exercise, and fun activities. Check them out:


1. Cut down on your diet. If you know you’re not going to have much time to workout, try to cut the portions of your meals. This way you won’t gain any weight, but you should try to stay active either way.
2. Drink water, lots of it. Drink a full 16-ounce glass of water before any holiday meal. This will make you eat less and help you avoid that feeling you get when you know you’ve had way too much to eat.
3. Diet-based New Years resolutions are a great way to begin the New Year in a clean and healthy way. Common diet based New Years resolutions that have worked for me over the years:

-I WILL stick to fruits and vegetables for snacking.
-I WILL drink more than 4 full glasses of water daily.
-I WILL eat 1 salad each day, without ranch dressing.
-I WILL NOT consume more than 2 soft drinks per week (Diet drinks still count!).
-I WILL NOT eat more than 1 meal of pizza per week.
-I WILL NOT partake in more than 1 night of alcohol consumption per week.

1. Stick to the basics. If it’s too cold to workout outdoors, do some of the more basic workouts, like: push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, doorframe pull-ups, etc. Aim for 30 minutes each day, or 60 minutes 4 days per week.
2. Find a dedicated workout partner or hire a personal trainer. Having someone else with you at the gym will help you learn new exercises, and it makes you more likely to go in most cases. Remember new workouts= new results, keep the body guessing.
3. If you’re sick of going to the same gym, try something new, like hot yoga. Chances are you will be able to find a place that offers hot yoga, which was designed as a rejuvenating exercise that strengthens the entire body, from head to toe. What’s better when its 20 degrees outside than doing yoga in 105 degree heat with 40% humidity?

Fun Activities:
1. Find a place to go skiing. Skiing is an excellent workout, and it’s exhilarating. It’s a fun way to get your blood pumping, and it’s good for cardio and fat burning. A man who weighs 180 lbs. will burn approximately 409 calories per hour, and a woman who weighs 130 lbs. will burn approximately 295 calories per hour skiing.
2. Try ice-skating. This is another fun way to do cardio exercise. Find an indoor ice-skating rink and it won’t be nearly as cold as the coldest months of winter.  Ice-skating will help a 180 lb. man burn approx. 572 calories each hour, and a 130 lb woman burn approx. 413 calories per hour
3. My personal favorite: sledding. Find a huge hill and take a flat trashcan lid with you. Many people don’t realize how good of a workout this can be. It combines running/walking up hills, having fun, and cold beer. I’m telling you now that it’s ok to drink cold beer while you’re freezing. Sledding burns approximately the same amount of calories as ice-skating.

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