Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Avoiding the Urge to Hibernate

If I were to create a recipe for weight gain, it would look a lot like winter.  The shorter days, cooler weather, calorie rich comfort foods and plethora of holiday indulgences seem to equal the perfect storm for weight gain.  At first look it appears that seasonal weight gain is unavoidable, I mean heck, even my aerobics instructor was giving out chocolate kisses for Valentine’s Day.  Thankfully, I am living proof that winter does not have to equal weight gain, in fact, it can even be a time for weight loss.

Over the years I have become so aware of the weight gain risks associated with winter, that I always manage to lose more weight during winter than any other season.  No, this doesn’t mean that I spend all of Christmas Day on the treadmill and I certainly eat my share of Christmas cookies.  So what is the key?  The key is not using winter (and all that goes with it) as a means to justify a little weight gain. Instead, be aware of the risks and work around them.

One of the most important things to remind yourself to do in the winter is to STAY ACTIVE!  As much as you may want to curl up on the couch and spend the winter watching movies, I assure you this is not going to help you with your weight loss goal.  

Here are a few things you can do to avoid hibernation:

-Maintain your regular schedule at the gym.  Do not put off your gym time because it is raining/snowing/cold/dark outside.

-Strap on some crampons and go for a winter hike
-Go out to a movie instead of watching from home (this will at least keep you off the couch and away from your fridge)
-Cook dinner instead of ordering take-out
-Read your local events calendar and attend some concerts, festivals and lectures
-Rent some snowshoes and play in the mountains
-Find your inner child and go ice skating or sledding
-If you really can’t leave the house, try a workout DVD
-Downhill or cross country ski
-Join an indoor boot camp class
-Do not save your cleaning/organizing for spring, start now

Hopefully you will find that staying active this winter not only helps you to lose weight, but also helps fight the winter blues!

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