As mammals, we tend to put on a few extra pounds throughout the winter. Not even counting the scrumptious holiday feasts, the cold weather slows down your metabolism by slowing down body functions in an effort to keep your core temperature up.
There are a number of things you can do to remain in shape, however.
1.. Exercise. I know it goes without saying, but how many of us skip more than a few workouts when the weather is too nasty for that morning jog? Or the amount of parties, travel and get-togethers seems to leave us without time for a daily workout? Even if you only have 10 minutes, you can get your heart rate up, and studies show 10 to 20 minute boosts of exercise result in temporary mood improvement and anxiety reduction. When you only have a few minutes at a time, choose exercises that involve as many muscle groups as possible. Shadow box between answering emails at the office. Do lunges or squats while on phone calls. Park farther away and jog through the parking lot. There are many ways you can sneak in bits of exercise throughout busy days, so get creative! If you’re worried about feeling self-conscious, let your motivation be thoughts of how much more self-conscious you will feel when that muffin top or beer gut start showing! And whenever possible- take the stairs.
2. Limit alcohol drinks. They are filled with many empty calories. It’s easy to forget that you can drink as many calories as you can eat. In fact, many drinks have as many calories as a full meal! Eat first- if you imbibe on an empty stomach, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly, resulting in high blood sugar and metabolized in stored fat. Drink water (mineral or regular) after every cocktail, and set your limits beforehand.
3. Holiday feasts and parties are loaded with temptations, and there is nothing wrong with indulging. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy the delicious offerings, just do so in moderation. Drink plenty of water before meals to help you not eat as much and help the body’s digestion. Many times we eat because when we are actually dehydrated. Take smaller helpings of high calorie items at buffet style gatherings, and you can split dessert with a friend at a restaurant. You CAN have your cake and eat it too!
4. Rest. Winter and the holidays can be a very stressful time of the year for many people. Be sure to take some time for yourself, even if it’s for just five minutes at a time. You can meditate, enjoy a favorite hobby, and even just relax and focus on your breathing for a moment. Relaxing helps bring down your blood pressure and calm the production of cortisol- which is caused by stress and helps the body store belly fat.
5. Brush your teeth after every meal. Right after enjoying a meal, go straight to the bathroom to brush, floss, and mouthwash so that your mouth is feeling nice and clean – this makes it less appealing to eat more (especially before bedtime). Have you ever tried to eat or drink something after brushing your teeth? Not tasty!
The holidays are about celebration and indulgence, which are essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. Loads of sugar will pack on the pounds, but on the other hand, depriving yourself is not healthy, either. Enjoying festivities responsibly and keeping active during cold months will allow you to reap the results both mentally and physically.
Speaking of Holidays, please check out BumbleBee’s recommended Amazon store. There are some very cool and unique gifts for the boxing enthusiast in your life. A portion of your purchases go to help BumbleBee Boxing Gym. Please visit the store below: