Now that summer has come and gone, we all have a new opportunity to get fit through the winter in order to look our best in the coming months. Granted, it’s harder to feel the motivation to get outside in cold weather to either exercise outdoors or travel to the gym, or choose healthier meals over belly-warming comfort foods. If you want to show off that bathing suit in just a few months, starting now is key. Here are a few easy ways you can get fit this winter:
Get outside, even in the snow:
If you live where there is snowfall, plenty of outdoor activities get your blood pumping and calories burned and you won’t even realize you’re exercising! Skiing, snowshoeing, skating and sledding all work the legs, inner thighs and buttocks for a total lower body workout.
Layer your clothing:
When it’s cold outside, you would think you needed to get on your warmest exercise gear and head into the elements. While it’s important to stay warm, dressing too warmly causes you to sweat more and then when you cool down you begin to get chilled. Layering clothing will allow you to take off clothing once you get too warm, and then add it on when you become chilled. According to the Mayo Clinic, synthetic materials are ideal for working out because it absorbs sweat from your body as you exercise. Avoid cotton material, which becomes soaked and then sits on the skin. Fleece is perfect for keeping you warm while exercising, followed by a thin, waterproof pullover or jacket.
Vary your meals with seasonal produce:
During winter months, you may not think there are any tasty produce options out there, but there is. According to Health Castle, citrus, pomegranates and grapes are all available during the colder season and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Delicious vegetables like squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are not only high-quality carbohydrates that leave you feeling full and satisfied, but are also filled with vitamins and minerals.
Whether you are heading outside or working out in the gym or home, staying hydrated is just as essential if it were warm outdoors. Be sure to drink water before partaking in any activities, as well as after. According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration can happen in any type of weather with the loss of moisture through sweat and breathing.
Kick up the cardio:
To burn plenty of calories each day, it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, jogging or other cardio activity in each day. Aerobic exercise allows your body to burn more calories each hour than if you were doing other activities like strength training or body sculpting.
Don’t forget strength training:
Even though you’ll burn more calories with cardio, strength training is needed to build muscle for all over toning. Squeeze in two to three sets of strength training two to three times a week, allowing at least one day of rest in between each session for muscle repair. Give yourself a one or two minute break between each set for more effective training.
Starting early with a healthy diet and exercise plan gives you plenty of time to ease into any routine. Simple safety tips will allow you to get an effective workout even when the weather is less than favorable, and will help keep cold-weather injuries away. Enlist a friend to be a workout partner, which will keep you motivated to exercise and allow you to enjoy getting out there and burning off calories in time for that bathing suit!
Read more from Laura Leiva:
Five Ways to Ensure Daily Exercise
Eating Pasta, Even on a Diet!
4 Ways to Dine out and Not Gain Weight