I’m going to let you in on a little secret my friends…a secret that has been serving me and my clients very well and something that will change the way you think about your body when summer rolls around again and you get your bikini and summer dress out for the first time! Wanna know what it is?
Winter is the time I put in a little extra effort to get fit and healthy. Why you might ask?
So I can cruise into summer feeling fit, healthy and confident
You see when spring hits and there’s a glimmer of a sunny day, guess what happens in my industry? The gym suddenly gets more packed than usual. This is because a lot us will have a little internal freak about having to pull out our summer attire soon. Getting stressed over this and becoming super self-conscious or obsessive can backfire and actually make you store fat due to the negative effects of releasing the stress hormone, cortisol.
To avoid this and to make the season transition stress-free, my advice is to hit the gym and/or your local yoga studio, and continue making an effort with your food choices during the cooler months so you can cruise into summer looking and feeling your best! Trust me, you’ll reach your health & fitness goals a helluva lot easier come summertime. Here’s my 7 tips to help get you there!
7 Tips To Get Fit & Healthy In Winter!
1. Eat for the season. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, eating for the season is important for yin / yang balance, and to support and nourish different organs at different times of the year for optimal health and well-being. With winter around the corner here in Oz, now is the time to eat warming foods such as slow cooked stews, hearty soups and bone broths, porridge (traditional or gluten free), Ayurvedic teas, oily foods like tahini, avocado and salmon, spices such as cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, chilli, ginger, garlic & onions, and seasonal veggies and fruits.
2. Sticking with the seasonal theme, winter is also a time for hibernating and keeping warm. Allowing yourself that extra hour of sleep is awesome for keeping your blood sugar levels more stable during the day and for muscle repair, growth and recovery.
3. Don’t go overboard on carbs. In my first point I said to eat warming foods which is important during winter, but this doesn’t mean eat massive quantities of carbs all day long. I definitely add a little more low GI carbs to my diet during winter, such as quinoa, legumes and sweet potato, but not with every meal. Quinoa is a fav of mine due to it being gluten free and high in protein. Add it to your stews instead of rice, bread, cous cous or pasta which are higher in carbohydrates. You can also eat it for brekky served warm as an alternative to traditional porridge. Eggs are also a brilliant, low carb brekky. Learning to listen to what your body feels it needs (rather than your emotions) is the key, as is sticking to eating foods in its natural state as much as possible (wholefoods).
4. Don’t be lazy. Yes, I did say you should enjoy a little more sleep and hibernation during winter, but that doesn’t mean opting to skip the gym to stay rugged up in bed! Well, you could if you wanted to, but make sure you do some exercise during the day or after work instead. It’s VERY easy to slip into lazy mode during winter, but this will defeat the purpose of what this post is all about…getting yourself fit and healthy in winter so you’re confident about your body and health in summer!
5. Hire a personal trainer or team up with a training buddy. Kick yourself into gear with one of these options so you don’t fall back to point 4!
6. Think yourself thin and release those ‘weighty thoughts’.
7. Try something new. Sick of hitting the gym? Try some yoga instead such as Vinyasa Flow which is bound to get your heart pumping and muscles working, but with an emphasis on breath. Conversely, if you’re more of a yogie than a gym bunny, join a gym and give some weights a go! I personally find I tend to look more inward during the cooler months and find that yoga is the perfect form of exercise for me, especially Vinyasa Flow. I’ll still lift some weights however and throw in some cardio, but my body and mind responds well to more yoga.
Do a detox in the lead up to summer! Cut out alcohol, sugar, dairy and wheat. Do a juice fast and start dry body brushing to help flush out toxins.
In the comments below lovely, tell me…do you like to put more effort into getting fit and healthy in winter, or do you kick into gear around spring?