“Winter is coming”, a fancy phase adopted by billions, thanks to a famous television series called Game of Thrones. But we are not here to talk about the show, but to tell you how this cold weather affects your daily workout, exercise and your diet.
Even though your goal is to stay healthier, but gaining weight is inevitable especially during winter. This is why eating healthy is just as important as physical activity. Exercise acts like a predator against gaining weight and decreases the risk of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure and even some types of cancer.
Follow these simple do’s and don’ts that will help you fight against all odds during this winter.
As the change of season brings shorter days and longer nights, your morning run is swapped with an extra half an hour in bed. Cold weather always compels you to commit some irresistible sin, such as indulging in lip smacking and un-healthy foods. But many of you may not even have the slightest idea about the amount of calories that have been consumed due to between mealtime snacking.
Fruits and vegetables are a big store house of fiber that is enriched with antioxidants and nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium and folic acid. Consume a bowl of salad and include the necessary fruits and vegetables to make it is a powerhouse of proteins and vitamins that will keep the cold and flu at bay.
Just like fruits and vegetables are required for you everyday, we also recommend that you to consume plenty of water. As the temperature goes down, so does water consumption as a tendency. This is why it is necessary for you to hydrate and water helps in detoxifying your body and maintains a stable weight ratio. Drink at least 10-12 glasses water a day and if you are bored of regular water, you can always experiment. Make a lemonade and throw some mint leaves to add taste or create some herbal teas like peppermint or lemongrass, add them to your daily diet and the benefits are yours to reap.
During the winter season always aim at consuming a meal that is high in protein. Food enriched with proteins can help in unnecessary sugar cravings and also balances sugar levels. Consuming foods such as yogurt, chicken, fish, eggs will give you your daily dose of protein.
Just stay away from packaged foods – while we understand they are hard to resist, junk and packaged snacks are the most formidable opponents of your weight loss journey. Store bought cookies, cakes, bread and pastas are loaded with refined flour that creates a spike in insulin levels and speed ups the fat process in the body.
These packaged foods contain excess amount of sodium that can predispose one to various health issues. Indulging in such food habits would would render one to be exposed to unhealthy and innumerable amount of unwanted calories and fat.
What to wear for this Winter
Dressing for winter is very crucial, whether you’re heading for a run, toward your everyday gym, or even for a brisk walk. Exhilarating cold weather should never stop you from your regular exercise. It is important for you to wear suitable clothes for such conditions. Putting the right gear will keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
While dressing is crucial for your exercise regime, your comfort levels also matters because your workout regime may includes running, lifting and stretching. Layering up on warm and comfortable clothes is very important.
The layers you wear should always depend on the exercise or the activity and on your personal preference as well. There are three layers that are essential and have different roles to play.
1. Base Layer: Base layer is the very underlayer that comes in contact with your skin. Wick, and the likes will keep you warm and dry. Silk, polyester and wool are the best choice. Polyester blend tights will keep your legs warm and also allow for freedom of movement.
2. Mid Layer: The mid layer acts as an insulator and it should be looser than the base layer, but it has to maintain contact with the base layer to make it function properly. Mid layer helps in carrying away the moisture from the base layer to the outer layer. Polyester, wool and synthetic natural blends will help to keep out the cold. Fleece pullover, jackets can be used for mid layer clothing.
3. Outer Layer: If it is windy or raining outside, the outer layer acts as a protective shield. Look for fabrics that are tough enough to withstand tears, abrasions and that can breathe. Materials blended with polyester will allow moisture to escape and also block wind. On extreme cold days if you haven’t covered those hands, you may lose up to 30% of your body heat. Wear gloves made from synthetic material that will share your body heat and it will also wick away moisture.
Do not wear cotton because it is the worst fabric to wear as it absorbs and traps moisture. It stays wet making you swim in your own sweat and also drawing away the required heat from you. Avoid at all costs.
Frigid temperatures will get you into winter hibernation and the freezing weather can easily discourage even the toughest and motivated exercisers. But don’t let the cold weather spellbound you by giving an end to your daily fitness route.
Indulging in physical activities uplifts your mood, reduces the risk of depression and helps in the ability to fight against stress and also a great way to beat winter blues.
a) Running – Running or jogging can be a high intensity cardio and a leg work out especially during winter. Even a moderate walk can burn 106 calories. You can also workout indoors, if you are a runner you may even use a treadmill.
b) Pushups – Pushups is one of those simple exercises that can be performed anywhere and without any equipment. It helps in building core strength of the body. Perform this exercise outdoors to yield some amazing results
c) Jumping Rope – Jumping rope exercise will leave you awestruck once you get to know the amount of calories are burnt when doing it right! The exercise is not restricted to any weather condition or time. All you need is an ample amount of space to jump and you’re ready to burn that fat even in the harshest winter.
a) Do not perform sprints, regardless what you wear. Rather run slower than your usual workout regime. Extreme running may result in sore or injured calves causing serious injury to your leg.
b) Extreme exercises are meant for the summer. It would be wise for you to keep them at bay, till the cold weather subsides. And winter is all about preparing yourself for extreme workouts in summer.
Take charge of your food habits, always remember that the right kind of food can set you in the right path. Hence consuming healthy foods and drinks will restrict you from gaining weight and keep those diseases and workout goals at bay. Regular exercising will keep you fit and help you burn those unwanted calories with ease. Winter is here, and now you’re prepared!