Winter seems to present its fair share of never-ending challenges. The endless darkness, freezing temperatures, snow and ice to name a few. Not to mention the mental and physical battles that come along with it. Trying to stay healthy in the winter feels like and endless battle.
Sometimes it seems that no matter how healthy you eat, the feeling of lethargy never fades away. Or the endless attempts at actually eating healthy that always wind up coming to a halt with the temptation of delicious Christmas cookies.
As if just trying to stay on track isn’t enough, there’s the added challenge of trying to fit in a workout when it’s dark outside or the sidewalks are buried in snow.
All these challenges may make staying healthy in the winter feel like a losing battle – but it doesn’t have to be.
Despite how it may feel at times, there actually are a few ways to stay healthy this winter and not set yourself back. Fitness progress doesn’t have to stop just because the temperature drops or the suns sets earlier.
Related: How to Stay Active in the Winter
Sure, staying healthy and in shape throughout the winter involves a bit of a different strategy than the summer or fall. But reworking your strategy and finding a healthy living plan that works for you makes all the hard work worth it.
At times when staying healthy feels like a challenge, here are a few simple tips to stay healthy this winter. These simple strategies can easily be implemented into your daily routine to make supporting your health and fitness easier than ever this season.
Continue your fitness progress and build a solid foundation for the new year this winter with these simple strategies.
10 Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter
Plan your workouts ahead of time.
Finding the time and motivation to workout is hard enough as it is, but it’s even harder when you’re pressed for time and unsure how to get started. Taking the time to plan your workouts before the week begins will set you up for success and keep you accountable each day.
Creating a plan forces you to think through the week and helps you structure your workouts to best suit your availability and energy levels. You’ll be able to plan a rest day on Thursday when you’re especially busy, or fit in a workout at home in the morning before work.
Exercise at home.
It’s no secret that winter makes getting out the door exponentially more challenging. By the time you work up the motivation to work out, you’ll face even more challenges bundling up to get in the car and drive to the gym.
Planning effective, at home workouts takes away some of the obstacles you’ll face when maintaining a workout routine throughout the winter. There are plenty of bodyweight workouts, strength workouts and workout DVDs you can use to burn some calories and work up a good sweat each winter.
>Download thishealthy dinners during the winter sounds much less appealing when it’s dark outside you’re craving immediate satisfaction with some wholesome comfort food. Meal prepping is just as important – if not more – during the winter than it is during the summer.
The key to avoiding filling your days with quick, processed comfort meals is preparation. Spend some time each weekend making fulfilling, healthy meals filled with colorful ingredients. Filling your body with healthy, nutritious food will give your body that extra boost to make it through cold and flu season.
Treat yourself in moderation.
Comfort foods and treats are inevitable throughout the winter – and there’s no need to punish yourself by forcing yourself to avoid them altogether.
Decide when you’ll plan to indulge in desserts throughout the week. Set aside holiday parties for a delicious drink or enjoying holiday candies. Knowing that you’ll get to enjoy some treats in the near future will make turning them down right now much easier.
Related: 5 Ways to Overcome a Sugar Addiction
Don’t forget to hydrate.
Staying hydrated in the winter is even more essential with the cold, dry air – but it’s easy to skip out because we never actually feel thirsty. To avoid dehydration and the dry skin and eyes that comes along with it, make it a point to drink water throughout the day.
Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. Set a goal of drinking a certain amount of water each day and break down how much water you’ll need to consume by each meal to meet your goal. Swap out a coke or glass of wine with water to make staying hydrated easier.
Make sleep a priority.
The darkness makes us feel tired and sleepy all day long, but with so many events and obligations this time of year, it’s easy to push our bed time later and later each night.
Designate a bedtime for yourself each night and make a point of sticking to it. Getting enough sleep is especially essential in the winter – it promotes well-being, healthy energy levels and positive feelings and motivation.
Create an energizing morning routine.
The early mornings can feel quite dreadful in the winter. Waking up when it’s dark outside is challenging enough as it is, but add in the fact that you have to leave a warm bed makes it nearly impossible.
To avoid the morning struggle, create an early morning routine that you’ll look forward to. Find an energizing way to start the day – complete a workout, take a shower, spend time meditating, reading your favorite book, or drinking delicious tea. Find something that gets you out of bed in the morning and get up early enough to make it a habit each day.
>Download outside in the cold, brutal air is less than appealing. But even so, spending time outdoors is just as beneficial in the winter as it is in the summer.
Find sometime to get outside while it’s still light. Maybe this means taking a walk at lunch or just getting outdoors for a few minutes in the backyard. Your body still benefits from Vitamin D even when it’s cloudy outside. The fresh air helps refresh our minds and give our bodies a nice change of pace from the stiff air inside.
Cut yourself some slack.
Setting ridiculously high standards for yourself will likely set you up for failure at any time of year – especially when conditions are less than ideal for productivity and energy. Understand that fitness and healthy living may look different in the winter.
Staying in shape may involve short, intense indoor workouts as opposed to long runs outside. Eating healthy may mean heading to the grocery store to find produce instead of the farmer’s market. Cut yourself a little slack this time of year to prevent burnout and discouragement.
Make some spring goals.
Use the extra time indoors to plan for the next season. Setting goals for the spring or new year provide the motivation you need to keep going through the winter.
Signing up for a spring race or setting a hefty new year’s resolution provides you with something to plan for. Knowing you have a big event or goal in your future fuels you to create a solid foundation and begin putting in the work for success down the row.
Winter is a challenging season for our overall health and wellness, but having the right strategy in place can make this season exponentially easier. Staying healthy this winter is not a far-fetched goal, it’s a reality that we are more than capable of accomplishing.
Set yourself up for success in the spring and new year by taking the necessary steps to stay healthy this winter.
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