As the cold winter months approach many of us migrate the majority of our time towards the warmth of the indoors, where we can feel comfortable and cosy, waiting for the snow and the holidays. Of course, for some of us staying inside in the warm is a little harder, because we know we should be out there running, or cycling, or doing something active to keep ourselves fit and healthy. Winter is full of problems for those who want to stay fit all year round, and one of the biggest problems we face comes in the form of Christmas dinner, and the onslaught of festive treats that follow it. Alcohol, rich fatty meats, chocolate, Christmas pudding, and eating almost continuously for the duration of the holidays as you move from house to house visiting friends and relatives.
There are, of course, some things that you can do to keep the weight from building up this winter, without having to turn away everything delicious that is offered to you.
Start off with some winter activities. If the cold isn’t enough to keep you from braving the outdoors then get out there!
Walks in the middle of winter a beautiful; frost on the ground, snow, quiet. Not to mention that the air always feels that much fresher when it’s cold, so get out there and enjoy a good walk. All you need is a jacket and a decent pair of shoes. Of course if it is snowing you might opt for boots instead, and if it is particularly cold you may want to opt for multiple layers. More, thinner layers will do much more for you than one very thick layer, particularly when it comes to the cool down period, so keep this in mind when you dress for a winter walk.
Hiking or Running.
If walking isn’t doing enough for you then try hiking or running. Running in winter is best in better maintained areas where the streets are cleared and gritted, or in areas where the ground is left untouched; if it’s icy or partially cleared so that it turns slushy and icy then it isn’t a very safe surface for running. Hiking can be more risky in winter, so stick to marked trails or areas you’re particularly familiar with if you choose hiking.
If the usual activities just aren’t interesting enough for you with all of the festivities going on then maybe you need to think of something a little more winter specific. If you’re planning a winter holiday or just happen to live in a particularly good area for snow and hills then you should try snowboarding or skiing. If you live in the city then you’re quite fortunate in that many cities have ice rinks or even open outdoor ice rinks in the winter, so you can go ice skating. These are particularly fantastic family activities and are a great way to get outside and get active. Of course if you’re looking for a good family activity try just going outside for a snowball fight like you did when you were a kid; running, throwing and of course laughing are all good ways to stay in shape.
If you’re looking for a fitness option that is a little more indoors based then there are still plenty of options for you, regardless of whether you’re looking for a quick bit of exercise to fit into your daily routine, or a healthy family activity.
You can grab a rope and start skipping just about anywhere, and it happens to be one of the most effective ways of burning calories. You can skip while watching TV, listening to your favourite music, or even just while you’re waiting for something.
Bowling or Swimming.
If you’re looking for an activity to do with the family then swimming or bowling can be a great we of getting out of the house and encouraging some exercise. Swimming is a particularly good one for encouraging a healthy lifestyle, burning calories and staying in shape, and it’s great for the whole family. Bowling is a more social form of exercise and particularly good if you’re trying to encourage family members to do something active if they’re particularly opposed to it. In most towns and cities you can find indoor centres for swimming and bowling.
Yoga and Pilates.
If you’re looking for a more regular activity as part of a group that provides a more social and easy going option then you are certain to appreciate a class for Yoga or Pilates. Of course if you aren’t as interested in participating as a group you can practice these activities alone at home if you choose to, with instructional books or DVDs to choose from.
Kate Critchlow is a young and enthusiastic writer covering a range of topics, having written for a variety of clients and topics to cover everything from making weight loss fun to finding the perfect supplements for your diet.