Oh, winter. Sometimes it seems like the bears have the right idea when they hibernate through the cold season.
While three months of Netflix and napping may be tempting, a little snow is no excuse to give up on commitments to optimum health. It’s typical for many to experience stress surrounding holiday weight gain and winter blues, but when it comes to winter health and wellness there are ways to turn the challenges of inclement weather (and moods) into a positive experience. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips for winter health below.
No excuses! Winter Health and Wellness Rain or Shine
When the weather outside is frightful, exercise and a healthy diet may not seem all that delightful. The benefits of striving toward winter health and wellness, however, are worth every endorphin released and every pound shed. Here are health and wellness tips for winter to wake the senses and keep you moving in the workplace, no matter what the weather!
- Winter Fitness – Timing is Everything: The simple fact is, we have a lot less daylight to take advantage of in the winter. Chances are, it’s dark out when you leave the house and dark again by the time you get home from work. It’s simply unsafe to exercise outdoors in the dark. If at all possible, plan your workouts for midday, when it’s the warmest. Or, consider investing in a gym membership for a few months, so that you can exercise without facing the cold darkness.
- Gear Up – There are advantages to continuing your outdoor fitness regime in winter. Did you know that walking and running in the snow burns more calories? Not to mention that fresh air and sunshine improves mood and boosts mental wellness. If you do venture outside, wear neon clothing with reflective strips so that you’ll stand out against the gray winter sky. Dress for weather 10 degrees warmer than outside, since you will quickly warm up and begin to sweat once your workout gets going.
- Make Modifications – We know it’s hard to stay motivated to go for a jog when you’d rather be wrapped in blankets. Motivate yourself to get out there by changing straight into your workout clothes when you get home. Is the gravitational pull of the couch simply too strong? One of our favorite winter fitness ideas is “TV commercial” interval workouts!
- Drink Up – One of the best ways to stay healthy this winter is simply to stay hydrated. While this is a key wellness tip any time of year, we naturally don’t feel as thirsty in cold weather which makes it easier to become dehydrated without realizing it. Aim to drink half your weight in ounces each day. If you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water.
- Hold the Salt – What could be better than a steaming bowl of soup after a long, cold day? Not much! It makes sense that soup is a go-to meal during the winter months. However, most soups are also laden with salt. Too much sodium will not only dehydrate you faster, but also leads to hypertension and heart disease. Opt for low-sodium soup varieties, or even better, make your own so you can control the seasoning.
- Rethink Your Drinks – We know winter is the season of hot chocolate, festively flavored lattes, and plenty of marshmallows and whipped cream, but these seemingly small indulgences have a huge impact on winter health. A 16 ounce pumpkin spice latte contains 420 calories, and a whopping 50 grams of sugar! That’s more than 12 teaspoons of sugar! Try satisfying your warm drink craving with hot teas instead and allow yourself a small fancy hot chocolate or coffee drink as an occasional treat.
- Grab Some Shut-Eye – Winter’s early sunset time makes us feel like we should be heading to bed at 5:00 PM. And while hibernating may not make our list of healthy winter habits, you should still listen to your body’s circadian rhythm which responds to your environment’s light and darkness. Go ahead and wind down a little earlier, unplug from electronics, relax with a book, and hit the hay a little earlier.
- Be a Social Butterfly – For many of us, the cold weather months may bring a little gloominess as well. That’s why one of our biggest winter wellness tips is to get out of the house (no matter how cozy) and spend time with friends. Maintaining friendships and social relationships will help combat the winter blues and combat the inclination to want to isolate.
- Give Back: Many charities such as food banks and animal shelters find themselves short on help during the winter months. Volunteering your time to help others can also improve your own mental health and life satisfaction. Think about encouraging coworkers to join in the philanthropic fun!
Looking for More Winter Fitness and Fun?
When it comes to winter health and wellness tips, there are many more suggestions to consider. What are some of your favorite healthy winter habits? Let us know in the comments. For more ways to stay healthy this winter, check out our New Year’s Resolutions Checklist or give us a call today, 800-425-4657.