Winter is often the time spent huddled up, warm in bed, playing in the snow, and hibernating until the warmth of spring returns. It is also the time for enjoying delicious food, which can sometimes lead to the unwanted seasonal bulk. It can be difficult to resist the temptation of food in the colder months and there is science behind these cravings. The fat in our bodies, helps to keep you warm and insulated in cold weather. This is where the challenge lies. How do you keep your body in tip top shape during winter? What is the secret to remaining healthy during the coldest, darkest time, of the year? Here are Scorpion’s top tips for staying fit and healthy during winter.
TIP 1: CHOOSE HEALTHY WINTER FOOD
With the cold weather here, reduced daylight and seasonal viruses making their rounds, now is the time to pay extra attention to your nutrition. Eating an abundance of healthy foods will provide your body with an adequate amount of lean protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals that will help to rebuild your body, optimise your immune system and give you enough energy to function at a high level.
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
- Eat your vegetables
Veges like broccoli, spinach and cabbage are rich in fibre, antioxidants and nutrients. Consuming them helps to keep your immune system cranking on all cylinders. They also provide energy and help to keep you feeling full.
- Consume an abundance of protein
A diet rich in protein helps you optimise recovery and maintain a toned, lean physique in winter. Because protein is very satiating, it will help keep you feeling full too. So make sure you consume a large amount of protein per day, your body will love you for it. Check out our Scorpion Whey Protein https://scorpionsupplements.co.nz/supplement-category/whey-protein/
- Include more wholegrains
Whole grains are good for your health at any time. But they are especially beneficial in the winter because they keep your body warm and full. Plan to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast for both the health benefits and to keep laziness at bay. Add flavoring like cinnamon or citrus fruits to it. Add barley, brown rice, and quinoa to your diet to increase your overall intake of healthy whole grains.
TIP 2: ADOPT NEW BEHAVIOURS TO AVOID WEIGHT GAIN
If you want to stay fit and healthy all year round, then making sure you are fit during winter is critical. For some individuals, this may require you to change behaviours and habits that are not as helpful.
Here are some hints and tips to help you make better choices:
- Get organised in the kitchen
The old saying is, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. How true is this! So make a plan, one that is aligned with your goals and aspirations. Next, get organised in the kitchen. If you prefer, prepare in bulk. This is a great time saving tip and it also means that you will have your meals ready, each and every day. There should be no excuses not to meet your caloric requirements. You’ve got this.
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated during winter can be challenging. Why is this? Often during winter we look for the hot beverages, such as teas, coffee etc (or energy drinks for a bit of an extra energy boost), to help us stay warm and active. While they will help us stay warm, too often these are the only drinks we go for and therefore we miss out on being fully hydrated with enough water. So make sure, in-between your hot drinks or with your meals, you drink at least 500ml-1L of water to keep fully hydrated. A 2% decrease in hydration will lead to a 20% decrease in performance.
- Get the right amount of sleep and sun light
This can be one of the biggest challenges during the colder months. As humans, our naturally inclination is to sleep and stay inside more, during these months, due to the increased darkness and colder weather. Unfortunately, research has shown that by decreasing our levels of physical activity, decreasing our time in the sun and sleeping less or more, has major implications to our mental and physical health. Create a routine of when you go to bed and get up each day, this is so important. This will keep your circadian rhythm balanced and will help you remain focused and alert. Try to get some sunlight each day. Sunlight is rich in vitamin D, which has a multitude of cellular functions in our bodies. A few minutes in the sun, each day, will help with your mental and physical health.To help optimise your sleep and to help with your recovery, try our Scorpion ZMAX: https://scorpionsupplements.co.nz/supplements/scorpion-zmax-220g/
Tip 3: Exercise
Exercise and movement is the key for all body systems remaining strong and healthy and this is especially true during the colder months of the year. One of the biggest challenges during those cold winter months is the comforts of warm food, climate controlled homes and Netflix marathons. By taking control, and sticking to your exercise routine, you will reap the rewards of remaining fit and healthy and fight off the winter blues.
Here are some tips to keep on track with your exercise during winter:
- Workout with a friend or employ a coach
To help eliminate excuses, laziness,a lack of motivation, and effort, take your friend to the gym and workout together. When you work with another individual or in a group, your pairs can hold you accountable. Fail to show up for that leg session and feel the wrath of a stewing gym bud the next time you train together. Alternatively, if you are serious about making significant gains during the winter season, employ a coach. Coaches take on all of the burdens of making sure you smash your goals.
- Try new winter activities
Winter can be a great time of the year to try a new activity or play a new sport, which can help you remain fit and healthy plus keep you driven and moving forward towards that summer body. Sports such a skiing, ice skating, hiking, rugby or golf are all activities that are fun, socially engaging, and highly physical to help you burn more calories. Also, if you get a good dump of snow in your area, head outside and throw a few snow balls around.
- Set new goals and work on them
Setting new goals is a great way to remain in shape and will help you remain driven and focused. This is even more important during this time of the year. Try buying a new diary, or download a training log to help keep a record of your nutrition and training sessions. make your training progressive and aim to improve each workout, every week.
Winter is time spent curled up on the couch, being warm in bed, playing in the snow, seasonal parties, and lots more. It’s also a time for enjoying delicious food and invariably packing on extra pounds but it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s hard to resist the temptation of comfort food in the colder months. However, it’s not just you. There is a science behind these cravings. By choosing healthy winter foods, adopting new positive behaviours and including regular exercise into your daily life you can still come away from winter with an improved physique or figure. The choice is up to you.