Did you know that, on average, 30 percent of people don’t exercise at all during the winter months and gain on average 10 or more pounds?! While it’s tempting to hibernate and turn into a couch potato during the cold, winter months, this won’t help you stay in shape, maintain or reach your goal weight. Here are a few tips to keep your mind and body motivated to keep moving and eating healthfully when, baby, it’s cold outside!
11 Tips to Avoid Winter Weight Gain
1. Warm up and stretch. Cold stiffens your joints, tendons and muscles, so be sure you take the time to warm up properly. When you warm up and stretch, blood flows to your cold muscles, tendons and joints, making them more elastic and helping to reduce your risk of injury.
2. Wear sunscreen. Your skin needs protection from the sun year round, so be sure to slather on the sunblock and wear a hat. Also, make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
3. Wear reflective clothing. Due to the shortened daylight time, wear light-colored clothing and a reflective vest if you exercise early in the morning or at dusk, as it tends to be darker then.
4. Watch out for slick spots. Winter months bring the hazards of ice and snow on the roads. Poorly plowed sidewalks and roads can be slick, making it easier to slip and fall when exercising.
5. Wear layers. If you want to continue exercising outdoors, don’t let the cold stop you. Just be sure to wear layers so that you stay warm and dry. Then, as your body temperature warms up, you can shed the layers of clothing. Wear a windbreaker on windy days, and don’t forget your hat and gloves. Avoid cotton and instead wear moisture-wicking fabrics that don’t hold sweat.
6. Go for a walk. Most malls open their doors before the stores open as a service to the community. The temperature is constant, and there are usually many people to walk with you to help keep you motivated. Plus, you’ll know about the big sales before anyone else!
8. Create a home gym. Don’t worry; this doesn’t have to be expensive. You can easily set up a great workout area with a set of dumbbells, an exercise ball, a resistance tube with a door attachment and a jump rope, which should cost less than $100. And try this winter-themed workout to really get your heart rate up and have some fun!
9. Go cross-country skiing. Like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is an aerobic sport that works your whole body (especially your biceps, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and quads) without stressing your joints. You can burn, on average, 560 calories or more an hour with a brisk cross-country ski excursion. You can ski almost anywhere: a trail, a conservation area, a local park or even a farmer’s field. As with snowshoeing, you can make your workout gentle or vigorous, and you can rent equipment until you’re sure you want to purchase the gear necessary (new skis, boots and poles average about $250).
10. Dance! Salsa, swing or freestyle your way slim with dancing. It’s a fun way to work your glutes, abs and legs when you’re stuck indoors. You may not be ready for a guest spot on Dancing With the Stars, but you’ll be sure to break a sweat and groove pounds away. There are more than a few excellent dance workout DVDs to choose from, too!
11. Become a yogi. Escape the winter blahs and find your inner zen with yoga. Not only is yoga meditative, you’ll also build muscle strength and balance holding those tough poses, so you’ll be more relaxed and toned after your winter-long practice. Not sure which yoga workout to try? You can’t go wrong with these mind/body workout DVDs!
There are so many winter choices! What’s your favorite winter workout? —Linda LaRue
Today’s post is written by core performance guru, Linda LaRue. Linda is the creator of Crunchless Abs and the new, constant resistance, 3-dimensional workout, The CORE TRANSFORMER, which burns nearly 1,000 calories per hour.