The cold weather may want to make you stay bundled up on the couch, but it’s important to continue practicing healthy habits throughout the winter season to keep your physical and mental health in check. Read these tips on how you can stay fit, practice proper nutrition, and manage your stress this season.
Staying active can increase your energy levels, improve your balance, prevent or delay the onset of diseases, and reduce depression. Activities like housework, climbing stairs, dancing, stretching, and balancing can all be performed in the comfort of your home when you don’t feel like braving the cold.
Always warm up before exercising by marching in place, pumping your arms, or doing dynamic stretches. Once you’re ready to get moving, here are the four types of exercise you can practice:
- Endurance – Gradually build up to 30 minutes of an activity that makes you breath hard and perform this exercise every day.
- Strengthening – Climbing stairs, lifting light weights, carrying children, or other slightly strenuous activities should be performed every other day.
- Balance – Practice standing on one leg, walking heel-toe, or standing from a sitting position with assistance nearby.
- Flexibility – Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds with 3-5 repetitions.
Always consult your Primary Care Physician before starting an exercise program and never perform an exercise that causes you pain.
Practice Proper Nutrition
While comfort food and holiday treats may be your cold-weather favorites, maintaining a balanced diet during the winter will help you avoid weight gain and keep your body healthy. Try these nutrition tips:
- Establish regular meal times and pre-plan your meals and snacks. This will help you stay on track and avoid over-eating.
- Identify your “guilty pleasures” and try low-calorie versions of them or limit consumption. Pre-portion your “guilty pleasures” and only eat them when you have a craving.
- Make small substitutions to cut calories like drinking water instead of high-calorie drinks, using low-calorie dressings, and eating baked, broiled, or grilled food rather than fried.
- Control calorie intake when dining out by ordering a side salad or veggies, sharing an entrée with someone, and checking the nutritional information on a restaurant’s website.
Manage Your Stress
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays, but taking care of your mental health is just as important as managing your physical health. Here are a few simple ways to manage your stress:
- Exercise and eat healthy. Taking the time to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily will boost your mood and put your mind at ease. Avoid overindulging on high-calorie foods that will cause you to feel sluggish and could lead to weight gain.
- Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Adequate sleep will help you focus, eat less calories, boost your immune system, and more. Drinking plenty of water will also help you fight off hunger pangs!
- Take a tech break. Remember to put your phone, computer, or other electronic devices away. Spend time with friends and family, read a book, or do something else you love that doesn’t involve technology.
- Ask for help. Don’t go it alone and don’t be afraid to ask others for help if your to-do list is overwhelming.
If you are experiencing aches and pains this winter, give us a call at 1-866-PIVOT-18 and let us help you get back to healthiness.